Qualcomm’s Next Snapdragon Chip Will Be Able To Detect Malicious Apps


Snapdragon 820 will come with in-built ‘Smart Protect’ security protection

Your next smartphone could be powered by a processor that is able to detect and block malicious apps without the need for any specific software, thanks to a new initiative from Qualcomm.

The San Diego-based chipmaking giant has revealed that its upcoming Snpadragon 820 processor, set to be released next year, will be equipped with the company’s new ‘Smart Protect’ system, which embeds anti-malware solutions directly into a device’s hardware, offering more thorough protection.


qualcomm snapdragon dragon and chipSmart Protect looks to improve on the raft of security solutions already on the market today by constantly monitoring what activity is happening on your mobile device, letting it quickly identify and warn users of any unexpected activity.

Qualcomm says this is a major improvement on traditional antivirus programs, many of which rely only on checking the signature files of downloaded apps against a database of signature files from known malware apps.

This approach is easily overcome by the ever-increasing and evolving amount of new mobile malware such as zero-day threats, which can be “transformed” simply by changing the binary code of the apps, rendering them essentially invisible to such signature-based AV apps.

“With consumers storing more personal information on their devices, data leakage incidents and malware are on the rise. Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely equipped to address these issues with our ability to access lower layers of the software stack and dedicated security hardware, to create a device-based, behavioral analysis approach for mobile security,” said Asaf Ashkenazi, director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies.

“Snapdragon Smart Protect supports deep on-device monitoring for nearly instantaneous notifications of detected privacy violations and malicious activity while also providing great system performance and battery life.”

The company has worked with some of the leading security firms in the world, including the likes of Avast, AVG and Lookout, to make sure its next chip is able to protect its device better than ever before.

“Avast is pleased to work together with Qualcomm Technologies to provide hardware-based security that is integrated into the hardware and firmware of Snapdragon processors,” said Vince Steckler, chief executive officer of Avast, one of the main firms working with Qualcomm on Smart Protect.

“With threats increasing every day, OEMs and mobile operators need to protect their users in real-time. Snapdragon Smart Protect will provide hardware-based security at the processor level, which is designed to help improve consumer safety from rogue applications, zero day attacks, and ransomware.”

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