Microsoft pulls AVG anti-virus app from Windows Phone Marketplace

Microsoft pulls AVG anti-virus app from Windows Phone Marketplace
Concerns over data collection force Microsoft to remove app created by one of the world's most popular security software companies.

Questions had already been raised about the necessity of AVG Mobilation for Windows Phone 7. Firstly, there's no malware to be found on the platform at least yet, and the operating system automatically sandboxes all applications and restricts their access to system files and other applications that are installed.

The only files that the AVG app had access to are media files; music and photos, and so that's what AVG scanned. According to a blog post from Rafael Rivera, all it actually does is check the names of the files and see if they match a couple of strings, one in Hebrew. The app is available for free, supported by advertisements.

The lack of need for this application (at least now) is not why Microsoft pulled it from the Windows Phone Marketplace though. Justin Angel, a former Microsoft employee, examined the application more closely and found that it collects some data about the phone and sends it back to AVG.

The data includes the phone's unique I.D., operator, the e-mail address of the owner and GPS location information. Microsoft removed the App while it investigated the matter.

In response, AVG posted a lengthy blog entry in support of the application. Basically, it argued that since Android has become a major malware target (for which AVG has had A/V software available for before it became such a big target), it stands to reason that Windows Phone 7 will too when its usage rises. However, this ignores the big difference between how apps are vetted for Windows Phone 7 and for Android.

Read AVG's post here.

Written by: James Delahunty @ 10 Sep 2011 22:31
Windows Phone 7 AVG
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  • KillerBug

    AVG is a scam anyway...I intentionally infected my last phone with an app that was known to have a keylogger months ago...AVG didn't find it...but AVG did try to delete SuperUser.apk (the file that allows Root-only programs to function).

    What a AV suite that gets nothing but false positives on Windows does the same on Android.

    11.9.2011 01:49 #1

  • 1nsan3

    not suprised,

    all companys want to know what your doing. hard to get away from it.

    For Sale:

    Parachute, Used Once, never opened small stain.
    Best Offer!

    11.9.2011 10:43 #2

  • Interestx

    What happened to AVG?

    They used to be so reliable & performed well in tests - even the free version.

    Last I saw the latest 2011 version on initial release started really slowing PCs down by silly amounts so I binned it off.

    Shame I had about 8 years trouble-free with them until then.

    11.9.2011 14:17 #3

  • pet2008

    Good riddance. I replaced my AVG with the Microsoft security essentials and my PC never looked back. Windows phone is a closed OS, it has ZERO viruses or malware so far. IOS stayed secure so cant see why WP will not stay secure. Android is not built the same way so you may get viruses.

    11.9.2011 18:57 #4

  • KillerBug

    Malwarebytes (the app that other AV companies tell you to use to fix viruses that they can't...the paid version does live scanning with minimal speed reduction)+Comodo Firewall(the firewall that kept sony safe for years...until they stopped accepting automatic updates)+AdBlockPlus(reduces the need for AV in general) = Safe...or about as safe as Windows 7 gets anyway.

    11.9.2011 23:33 #5

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