Solution Corner: Malwarebytes for Android

Solution Corner: Malwarebytes for Android

People have become increasingly reliant on their mobile devices in recent years. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized daily life. Unfortunately, such rapid growth has also attracted criminals, bringing Android up to par with Windows in terms of infection rates.

Android threat landscape

A rapidly increasing group of threats on Android devices are so-called screen lockers, a form of ransomware that attempts to hold your device hostage by locking the screen with a ransom message and making it unusable. Android ransomware rose by nearly 140% globally from Q1 to Q2 of this year alone.

Trojan malware is also on the rise, increasing by 10% in that same timeframe, with many of the threats in this category being banking Trojans. Such malware poses a significant risk, allowing attackers to potentially clean out an unfortunate victim’s bank account.

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are also a growing threat, accounting for nearly half of all Android threat detections in the first half of this year. PUPs may sound cute, but they usually scam the user into purchasing software or services that are not actually legitimate and can introduce security vulnerabilities.

Introducing Malwarebytes for Android

We have improved our previously great Android app with many new features. The same basic functionality is still available for free in the new Malwarebytes for Android, but people who want even better protection can upgrade Malwarebytes for Android to Premium, gaining many security improvements.

Block and remediate ransomware

Malwarebytes for Android has advanced anti-ransomware capabilities that can detect and block ransomware before any damage is done.

If some screenlocker should happen to slip through, however, Malwarebytes can help to remediate the problem, removing the screen lock and giving you back control of your device.

Sophisticated real-time protection

Malwarebytes can identify and block threats before they can get a foothold on your device, using deeper scanning technologies and an ability to scan apps before they are installed.

Protect your privacy and security

A new privacy manager provides the ability to see what privileges each of your installed apps use so you can see if any apps are accessing data they shouldn’t be. The security audit feature alerts you to potential security vulnerabilities in your device settings and steps you through the process of fixing the issues.

Remote security

Secure a lost or stolen device remotely using SMS commands. You can remotely lock, change the PIN, display a message or even sound a siren. You can even use this to help with ransomware remediation, if necessary!

Malicious link detection

Malwarebytes scans your incoming text messages for phishing attempts. You can also make your browsing safer by sharing links – or text containing links – from other apps with the Malwarebytes app before clicking them, to see if they are malicious.

Don’t become a victim

People rely on their mobile devices for all manner of sensitive activities: banking, purchases, accessing online accounts, and much more. Malware can inject itself into these activities to steal user data or money. Further, the devices themselves have a value that can be exploited through ransom demands or theft.

Don’t let your Android phone or tablet be a source of trouble. Protect it with Malwarebytes for Android today!




What are the key features of Malwarebytes for Android?

  • Advanced protection
    • Anti-ransomware, with remediation
    • Deep scanning technology
    • Scanning of apps prior to installation
  • Premium trial
    • App will provide a trial of the Premium feature set
    • In-app purchasing via Google Play
    • Optional activation via multi-platform key from Keystone
  • UI overhaul
    • Premium UI features
    • Home screen widget
  • On-demand text scan for phishing links
    • Share any text with the Malwarebytes app to scan links contained in that text
  • SMS device control
    • Remediate ransomware and remotely control the device via SMS commands
  • More aggressive stance against PUPs


Why does Malwarebytes for Android have different features than for Windows?

Malwarebytes products are designed specifically for each platform, and to target the threats that are present on each platform. Thus, some features on one platform do not make sense on another.

The approach taken on each platform is the one that most effectively counters the threats on that platform. It makes more sense to tailor the solution to the platform than to create a one-size-fits-all solution that really doesn’t fit any platform properly.

Certainly, there are features found in the Windows product that may someday be implemented on Android, but just because a feature exists on Windows is not – and should not be – a guarantee that it will be implemented elsewhere, and vice versa.


What systems are required for Malwarebytes for Android?

Malwarebytes for Android requires Android 4 or later.


Do I need to uninstall the previous free version before installing the new Malwarebytes app?

On Android, the new app will install as an update to the old app, replacing it.

It is important to understand that the user will keep the same functionality they previously had for free, and that functionality will remain free. The purchase gives access to the new Premium features.


Where do I purchase the Premium version of Malwarebytes for Android?

It can be purchased from the Google Play Store as an in-app purchase. It can also be purchased as part of a multi-platform license from the Malwarebytes store.


If I purchased a Malwarebytes for Windows subscription license prior to August 5, 2017, will it work on Android? 

We do not currently offer this feature. But we are collecting all feedback and the product team will review it for upcoming updates.


I want Malwarebytes on my iPhone. When will that be available?

Due to security restrictions on iOS, it is not currently possible to create any kind of anti-malware app for the iPhone. (Sandboxing restrictions prevent apps from accessing files belonging to the system or any other apps, so there is no way to scan an iOS device.) For this reason, there cannot be – and likely never will be – any form of anti-malware for the iPhone.


Thomas Reed

Director of Mac & Mobile

Had a Mac before it was cool to have Macs. Self-trained Apple security expert. Amateur photographer.