Norton Security for Android Released


Norton’s been trying to make a push into the Android market for a while now. They released Norton Connect – their remote access and file managing app – not too long ago, and now they’ve checked back in with another addition: Norton Security.

They promise to protect users against malware by blocking suspicious callers and periodically scanning your phone for nasty, unwanted inhabitants. My thing is this: when has anyone ever had a problem with security of this form on their Android device? I’m not trying to discredit Norton on looking out for the Android community, but Android’s a pretty tough penny to crack unless you’re essentially inviting malicious apps onto your phone.


Having said that, I’m not sure what exactly the app would scan for (non-trusted APKs containing code to access sensitive parts of the OS?), but that’s not all it can do. You’re also given the ability to lock and completely wipe the phone’s data from a remote location. It’s nothing we haven’t already seen by apps like WaveSecure and MobileDefense, but choice has never been something we complain about.

The app is available free in the Market for 90 days after you download it, but Norton hasn’t yet announced any availability plans post-expiration.


[Thanks, Droid-Life!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Lookout has this feature already but i cant understand. I have never seen any reports of viruses on android. Peace of mind maybe?

  2. Its like the Mac is invulnerable myth. Android OS is just like running linux on your pc(server if you’re a geek like me). And as such programs like the web browser might just have the same vulnerability that pc users face with things like buffer overflows/flash holes, etc. And we connect these devices to our wifi networks so from the pc’s point of view, the phone is just another computer on the network and once one item is compromised, it is possible for it to try to compromise others.

    What a crazy world it would be if we go from infected usb drives to infected phones attacking other users via open wifi networks. So its not a stretch but as of right now its not a big target area, but that might change(just like with macs)

  3. Norton? ick. No thanks.

  4. Cannot locate on 1.6. 2.x only?

  5. The rules said there would be a winner from the app contest announced today.

    Did I miss it?

  6. “I’m not trying to discredit Norton…”

    I am. I purge their bloated crapware from every Windows PC I find it on. It is next to useless at preventing viruses, and frequently opens up more security holes than it fixes.

    Norton for my phone? No thank you.

  7. Now your phone can run as slow as your Norton “protected” PC!

    I believe I’ll pass on this one.

  8. The only malicious software out there is that of the Anti-virus companies. They create their own business by putting out viruses they create.

  9. I had “antivirus” on my Samsung Moment, and at some point I dumped it… I too am curious if anybody knows of any actual Android virus issues.

    Are there Android viruses to which one can unambiguously point? I mean, is Norton going to put out a Snipe Hunting tool and a Bigfoot Detector, too?

  10. Where is AVG for Android? Been happy with its FREE app for my PCs.

  11. Let me know when Trend Micro makes an app. I don’t put Norton on my pc so definitely not on my Nexus.

  12. I really am curious about what does this thing do? How can you detect a virus, when you haven’t actually seen one?

  13. Oh my you can be sure this is bloatware just like their PC junk!!

    Like D-man I remove anything norton on any machine i ever come across!!

  14. Norton sucks

  15. Yeah, my phone is way too fast anyway. Norton always seems to an excellent job of resolving that. Maybe I can put YahooIM as well.

    If you think battery life is an issue now…..

    Not in this decade.

  16. Great opportunity for a poll on virus protection. I agree with most that Norton (and most others) is worthless.

  17. I use the same anti virus software on my phone that I do on my Linux machine.. works great.. takes up no space, and doesn’t slow my system down at all..

  18. I agree with everyone. This is a load of crap. Don’t install apps that ask for permissions shouldn’t need. There will be some nasties that may hit the streets at some point, but you can be damn sure that Norton will not protect you from anything other than the malware they help to create for marketing companies. I have had so many computers over the years that ran like crap and were protected by Norton… no way I am trusting them on my phone.

  19. @ David
    Yes Android is Linux. Yes, an individual app could have a vulnerability. But unlike most Linux distributions, every Android app gets its own user id on the Linux system. Whenever an Android app is installed, a new user id is assigned just for that app. That app can only read/write/destroy its own files. Access to other data is via API’s.
    While a malware app could probably damage data on the phone via the API’s, it probably cannot do things like install a rootkit. Once you remove the app, it is removed.
    What are the chances that Google has already planned to be able to track down the origins of such a malware app?
    To put an app in the market, you must not only have a Google Checkout account, you must also provide Google with an actual bank account and contact info.
    Once discovered, a malware app can be removed from the market — instantly stopping the spread through that vector. I wouldn’t be surprised that there are mechanisms to remotely remove all instances of an app (by it’s digital signature) from all devices on a carrier at “the push of a button”.
    Therefore, you would need another way to get users to install your app outside of the market. If all copies of your app have the same digital signature, then I’m assuming that a carrier can remove it from every device on their network by remote control. (My assumption.) Assuming that is correct, you would at least need to custom generate a new copy of your app for every install.
    There still may be other ways to remotely recognize, identify and destroy many uniquely generated instances of a malware app.
    IMHO: anti virus for Android is snake oil.

  20. I use “Track and Protect” imo the only usefull tru security solution, works even after sim change and has lots of real usefull features.

  21. I’m not currently a Norton user even on my PC but to those who say “Norton Sucks,” when was the last time you saw evidence the the Norton of the last couple years sucks? I know is used to but I had read quite a few reviews saying it had been redone from scratch and was actually pretty good now.

  22. Like most linux distros its almost impossible to get a virus on a non rooted system(from an OS perspective.

    Think about it, if you do not have root or super user permissions how, would a virus be able to write or affect your OS? Thats why you dont see any virus’s on the linux platform. Now apps thats a different vector and story but on the OS level? i think this is a useless thing to buy….

  23. I once knew a really hot chick with a last name of Norton.
    I wouldn’t go near her either.

  24. I would never have this on my phone, If you bought a desire etc, why would you want it slowed down by AV Software.

    I (some may say it’s stupid) currently have no av/firewall/malware checker etc on my computer, and haven’t for over a year.

    Nothing has happened and I wouldn’t care if it did, as it would cost me nothing but the time to reinstall my programs. But to this date, I haven’t seen a virus (if I have ever had one) have a noticeable negative effect on my computer.

  25. load of crap.

    1. there is no virus on android
    2. the only meaningful features like lock and wipe are already covered by better prodcuts like WaveSecure
    3. the really needed stuff like backup and tracking is non-existent
    4. the only real thing it does is slow down your phone

    ingenious idiots. Gave up on norton 5 years ago, never going back. ESET for PC, WaveSecure for Android FTW

  26. Norton in itself is a damn virus. You’d be surprised how many pcs where the removal of Norton solved 90% of their issues.
    M all time favorite thing Norton does? When ur license expires, it blocks your access to the web until you renew your license so as to “protect you”…….
    Nortonremoval.executive should be the very first thing run on any new PC. Or dump Windows alltogether like I so. I prefer fedora myself.

  27. Maybe understandable for an inherently insecure platform like Windows Mobile, but Android? Security concerns were one of the primary design considerations before a single line of code was written.

  28. Norton are a money grabbing company, I hate companies that grab money due to ignorance, the way they design their software so that users don’t have to deal with it, then brand it around everywhere so that people who aren’t in the know think it to be the best and only internet security package. Their activation page gives you two options, renew subscription, to which it launches a web page (always used to be in IE, now they have learned that other browsers exist, they have decided to support them), or remind me later, no option like I don’t want subscription. You can’t close this window either. Any less computer literate user would be confused about this and think they must renew, this I think is shoddy business ethics to me. One reason I love android, choice.

  29. David Freer (VP, Symantec Consumer Business Units – Norton, APJ) is a BIG LIAR! He lied to me for more than two and half years for my true feelings, time, and money. Also kept saying I am the only one in his life. Even this year on Feb. 2, he used company line to lead me to have phone sex with him. Until I found out there’s some other woman, he made up another lie and finally admitted he’s been living with her for a year. Later, I realized they were all lies. He actually has married March 2009. And now he just totally disappeared and not answering any phone calls, acting like “hit & run” irresponsible baby. Can you trust someone like this, with no ethics and integrity? The more unbelievable things are David Freer newly-wed wife – SUZY WALSHAM, she shamefully admitted she was the third person who broke up David Freer & his ex 12 years relationships, and mocking at me as the 3rd “unsuspected” person, as she agreed with his husband’s behaviors!!!!!! SHAME ON both of you, DAVID FREER & SUZY WALSHAM!!!!!!! (THEY BOTH WORK FOR SYMANTEC)

  30. As I have reported to Symantec Ethics about David Freer’s (VP, Symantec – Norton, APJ) misconducts (fraud, having dissented sex with me as he lied, using company resources for personal benefits – hundreds hours phone calls, hanging out with me during office hours, negative impacts on Symantec corporate image), what they do surprise me too. They basically ignore – never process the investigation, covering the serial lying & cheating criminal up, then threaten me. As Warren Buffet said when he decides which company is worth to invest, he values the CEO’s ethic and integrity the most. Being a senior management, David Freer shall walk the talks, instead he has set up a terrible example. How dare Symantec always campaign the company itself as defeat cyber criminals, but in the real world, Symantec acts just like robbers, mafia, & criminals. How ironic!

  31. haha, what a load of crap :D

    besides, if there was any need for AV i`d still avoid Norton bloatware even if it was the only choice.

  32. I will wait for AVG as well. been very happy so far on my PC

  33. Fucc is this?? Android is as invulnerable as a iMac computer we don’t need anti virus programs.

    Don’t let them do it! they are going to screw over android.

  34. Was informed today that my yahoo email which I access from my Anroid was spamming people on my contact list. Besides that, all of my sent mail was deleted.

    Since my other computer that I use for email wasn’t turned on I narrowed the root cause to two possibilities, my phone or someone hacked my yahoo id and password.

    There was no problem logging into my account, so I am wondering if there is some way I can check to see if my phone is the culprit.

  35. Sorry, but there’s no way I’m letting anything from Norton near any of my computing devices anymore. Besides, this looks like yet another solution in search of a problem. And oh yeah, I don’t need anything else hogging CPU cycles or battery life on my Eris, which is already struggling for breath.

  36. I’m using HTC DESIRE rigth now. I’v been inatll some apps for download youtube movie and MP3. I’m not familiar of adroid OS or deeply know about OS. I’m worry and disapointed of virus on doid.
    They will made virus for droiD! IS IT POSSIBLE?

  37. ghosting my machine with norton has saved me several times and it is very light and quick for the last 3 years.

    does anyone know if there is a list of “malicious android apps?”

  38. First, I don’t think Android needs AV at this point. I am more interested in strong, integrated device encryption combined with tracking, remote lock & wipe, and backup.

    Second, unless you have used Norton 2010, you don’t know how the new Norton performs. Norton has been slowing PCs for years, that is, until now. If you’ve genuinely had problems with NIS 2010, then that is a new story. I have zero issues with the software. Unfortunately, I won’t be renewing my subscription with Norton because Norton does cost more than others.

    For those who say that Norton creates malware: You are stating more than you can prove. Unless you have hard facts on paper that support such statement, then your comment has no basis.

    I can honestly say that Norton 2010, like Windows 7, is different. Don’t stereotype it with the bloatware that Norton once was.

    You are free to browse the internet how you wish. You are not necessarily free of what you get by doing so. If you don’t engage in risky internet practices, you should not worry. AVG, Avast!, Microsoft Security Essentials will do the trick.

  39. I think having the ability to text to your phone if stolen and tell it to wipe all data is worth the program.

  40. This app also allows you to block calls and SMS, which is really nice. I don’t know of an app that does both of those things. Some claim to, like Cold Shoulder, but everyone says that it doesn’t block SMS, even when that option is checked. The program is worth it to me just for that.

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