Application security

Google App Defense Alliance Joins Linux Foundation; Meta, Microsoft Hop On

Securing messaging apps

A four-year-old Google initiative to combat malware from gate-crashing the Android apps Play store is now part of the Joint Development Foundation (JDF).

Google, Microsoft, and Meta comprise the founding steering committee to improve app security through the restructured App Defense Alliance (ADA), a Linux Foundation project. The steering committee plans to expand the scope of the Alliance to promote “collaborative implementation of industry standards for app security,” the principals said in a statement.

In addition to the steering committee, the ADA numbers 17 members.

Addressing Evolving Cyber Threats

Officials said that in 2022 the ADA responded to the growing emphasis on app security standards and is now central to a number of industry-led collaborations, including malware mitigation, and app security assessments for both mobile and cloud applications. Malware mitigation members include mobile security providers ESET, Lookout, McAfee, Trend Micro and Zimperium.

“The digital landscape is continually evolving, and so are the threats to user security," said Nataliya Stanetsky, Android Security and Privacy Team member, in a blog post. "With the ever-increasing complexity of mobile apps and the growing importance of data protection, now is the perfect time for this transition.”

Stanetsky noted that the App Defense Alliance was formed with the mission of reducing the risk of app-based malware and better protecting Android users.

"Malware defense remains an important focus for Google and Android, and we will continue to partner closely with the Malware Mitigation Program members – ESET, Lookout, McAfee, Trend Micro, Zimperium – on direct signal sharing,” she said.

Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation executive director, said that the App Defense Alliance's move to the Joint Development Foundation “reflects our dedication to open collaboration and innovation in the realm of app security. By uniting technology leaders and fostering an open ecosystem of cross-platform requirements, we aim to unlock new dimensions of performance and security for the benefit of our community."

ADA's Core Principles

According to the ADA’s website, its core principles are:

  • Protect users from malware and emerging threats
  • Collaborate with industry partners, we protect better when we work together
  • Educate app developers around security & privacy best practices
  • Provide transparency to build trust and improve quality across the ecosystem
  • Adapt to emerging threats, technologies, and industry changes
D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.