ESET Released Antivirus for Android in Beta



ESET is well-known in the PC arena for its NOD32 antivirus and ESET Smart Security suite. The company's existing mobile security product supports Windows Mobile and Symbian devices. ESET Mobile Security for Android Beta (free, direct) extends the same protection to the Android realm.
ESET Mobile naturally includes protection against Android malware. It checks processes and new apps in real time and also scans for threats on demand. Some mobile security products eliminate almost all antivirus configuration settings. Lookout Mobile Security is an example. ESET includes a full set of configuration choices, much like what you'd find in a PC-based antivirus. It uses heuristic analysis, it can quarantine suspect files, and it optionally scans inside archives, among other things.
Like Kaspersky Mobile Security 9, Norton Mobile Security 2.0 Beta, and others ESET Mobile can respond to coded SMS messages by locking the phone, transmitting its GPS location, or wiping all data from the phone. You can't track the phone by logging in to a Web site the way you can with GadgetTrak Mobile Security for Android & Blackberry 3.1, Mobile Superhero, and others, but ESET's SMS response to a location request includes a Google Maps link.
A thief who attempts to evade ESET's protection by swapping out the SIM card won't get far. Insertion of a SIM card not already marked as trusted will cause the phone to automatically lock and secretly send an alert SMS to one or more predefined contacts. The alert SMS contains the new SIM card's phone number, the IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) number and the phone's IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. ESET also protects against uninstallation on Android 2.2 and later.
ESET's antispam feature isn't as ambitious as that of PrivacyStar and Mr. Mr. Number, which use crowdsourcing to block known spam callers. You can set ESET to block specific blacklisted numbers or to block all incoming calls and texts that don't come from your contacts. The app retains information about blocked contact attempts, so you can review the contact log and make any necessary adjustments.
The most unusual feature ESET offers is the security audit. This isn't an audit of app permissions like that found in Lookout and in Webroot Mobile Security for Android. ESET audits the device daily and automatically fixes everything it can. You can also manually run an audit at any time. ESET alerts if battery power or free disk space are too low. It reports security problems with Bluetooth, GPS, and GSM Network as well as with installed applications and stored data. The included Task Manager lets you view running processes and terminate non-system processes.
This app, currently in beta testing, can be downloaded from the Android Market or directly from the ESET Web site.

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