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Android Malware Genome Project

Kudos to Xuxian Jiang and his colleagues at NC State for launching the Android Malware Genome Project. The project aims to provide sharing of Android malware samples and related data among vetted security researchers. This will enable a more complete understanding of the threats and increased response time in addressing them.

This initiative has a lot in common with our plans to build a better Clearinghouse for sharing information about badware URLs. Both projects represent an important evolution in how the "good guys" respond to the criminal underground. Traditionally, information about badware has been shared mostly through bilateral arrangements among trusted peers or in unstructured form through mailing lists. Both the AMGP and the StopBadware Clearinghouse strive to build centralized databases of information that will allow research information to be aggregated, so that all the participants can benefit from each others' strengths.

It's a tired cliché in the security world that there are no silver bullets; indeed, data sharing initiatives cannot be expected to eliminate badware. But projects like these do represent an important step toward collaboration and a more nimble response to new threats.

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