Microsoft is releasing a preview version of its antivirus software for Android today. The software giant revealed that Windows Defender was coming to iOS and Android earlier this year, but did not fully detail what to expect. Now we have a good idea why Microsoft thinks Android needs antivirus protection.
The public preview for Android will include phishing protection and will go one step further than Google’s built-in malware protection to offer signature-based malware detection. “Scans are performed instantly to detect malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs),” explains Kanishka Srivastava, senior program manager at Microsoft. “If a secure application is downloaded, the end user will see a light notification that the application is clean.”
Microsoft web protections will include anti-phishing so that unsafe websites sent by SMS, WhatsApp, email or other applications are blocked instantly. Microsoft is also using its Defender SmartScreen technology to also block unsafe network connections that malicious applications could attempt to create without the user’s knowledge.
The Android preview app comes more than a year after Microsoft started a public preview of its Defender antivirus on macOS. As a result, Microsoft renamed Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), and the Mac client also provides comprehensive virus and threat protection combined with the ability to perform rapid scans. or complete.
Microsoft is also planning an iOS antivirus application, although it is clear that the company will be much more limited with what it provides in Apple’s operating systems. Apple tests iOS apps by default, and firstly prevents most end users from downloading apps without the App Store. It is still unclear what exactly the iOS version of Microsoft Defender will offer.
“In the coming months, we will launch additional capabilities on Android, and you will also hear more about our investments in mobile defense against threats for iOS devices,” explains Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president of security for Microsoft 365.
Microsoft is also making Defender ATP generally available on Linux today, allowing the company to offer a unified antivirus solution on desktop and server platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux.