Anti-Malware Chip from Qualcomm Rolled Out

The new Snapdragon 820 chip by Qualcomm hopes to strike a blow against malware targeting smartphones by using machine learning to better identify malicious code, the company announced Monday. The new chips will be the first to sport the anti-malware technology developed as part of QualcommEUs Snapdragon Smart Protect project.

The processor, which is expected to ship sometime in 2016, represents QualcommEUs latest high-end mobile chip, succeeding the 808 and 810 families. The inclusion of such high-level anti-malware technology on the chip indicates that Qualcomm is hoping to appeal to enterprise clients by addressing one of the fastest growing concerns: zero-day exploits.

Blocking Zero-Day Attacks

Traditional anti-virus software has a difficult time blocking these attacks, because they rely on comparing the signatures of malicious code against a database of known threats. The problem with zero-day exploits, of course, is that theyEUre implemented before software companies have a chance to identify them.

EUThis approach to detecting and stopping malware is limited, especially against the daily onslaught of new mobile malware,EU Qualcomm wrote in a press release. EUTo make matters worse, even known malware apps can be EUtransformedEU simply by changing the binary code of the apps, rendering them essentially invisible to signature-based AV apps.EU

QualcommEUs Smart Protect initiative aims to overcome that problem by creating application programming interfaces (APIs) for use by phone manufacturers and antivirus app vendors to complement their security solutions with real-time machine learning-based behavioral analysis. Smart Protect is designed to analyze and detect new malicious apps before their signature files have been incorporated into the signature databases of traditional AV apps.

Smart Protect technology achieves that by analyzing the behavior of device applications in real time to search for behavior that seems suspicious or anomalous. Suspicious applications are classified into severity levels of malware, ranging from more destructive malware applications,...

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