Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 uses machine learning to fight malware

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Avast Builds Threat Detection Based on Machine Learning to Protect Users from Zero Day Attacks, Malware, and Privacy Threats.

Qualcomm is promising to improve security and privacy on high-end smartphones with Snapdragon Smart Protect, which uses on-device machine learning to help detect zero-day malware.-Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Smart Protect Supports On-device Behavioral Analysis for High Security and Malware Detection on the Forthcoming Snapdragon 820- SAN DIEGO, Aug. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), is extending its mobile security technology leadership with the introduction of Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Smart Protect.In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones.Over the years we’ve seen increased efforts at boosting the security of our smartphones where malware attacks can be prevented, such as more in-depth app reviews, automated screening processes, and more.

Qualcomm Technologies developed Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM Smart Protect to detect and classify zero-day and transformed malware in real time using machine learning-based behavioral analysis, to improve privacy protection and device security. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016. “With consumers storing more personal information on their devices, data leakage incidents and malware are on the rise. That allows it to protect against zero-day malware threats and complement ordinary signature-based anti-malware programs, with Qualcomm Smart Protect detecting and protecting against new threats even before a signature is updated.

Basically this is a malware protection feature that will be baked into its chipsets directly, and it will begin starting with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, which has been pegged to make its way into devices come 2016. Since Smart Protect will be built right into upcoming Snapdragon processors, such as the Snapdragon 820, it can constantly monitor apps and services to detect if any malicious activity is taking place without your knowledge. At its most basic, that could be an application that takes a photo even though the display is off or an application sending an SMS without any user interaction. “We can look at many different aspects of what applications are doing; what resources they request, what system calls they make, and then look at a sequence of events and decide if something is malicious,” said Asaf Ashkenazi, senior director of security product management at Qualcomm. For instance, one of the first demos Qualcomm showed back in 2013 was a robot using Zeroth to find only white squares on a floor, but avoid other colored squares. Qualcomm is also working with existing anti-malware companies, such as Lookout and AVG, to make their services and Smart Protect work in the best way possible together.

According to Qualcomm, “Snapdragon Smart Protect is also the first application to utilize Qualcomm Zeroth technology, augmenting conventional anti-malware solutions by supporting on device real-time malware detection, classification and cause analysis using an advanced cognitive computing behavioral engine.” Will it be effective? The robot did this not because it was programmed in a certain specific way to reach the white squares, but because it “learned” by itself where the white squares would be. We suppose we will have to wait until 2016 to find out, but at the end of the day if you purposely open up suspicious emails and downloaded attachments, and go to third-party app stores that aren’t verified to download your apps, we suppose all the best protection in the world really can’t help you. While consumers will benefit from better protection, OEMs and mobile operators will benefit from reducing the risk of data leakage and malware attacks for their users. The Smart Protect function will look into what’s going on in the smartphone, and if it spots any kind of abnormal behavior, it will warn users about the same.

This is the main principle behind a neural processing unit (NPU) such as Zeroth, which is supposed to sit side-by-side a “traditional” CPU in devices. Operators can reduce the burden of fraudulent charges and network congestion often associated with malware-infected devices, while consumers benefit from improved protection of personal data with minimal impact on device performance or battery life. The most exciting features that such a chip can provide will likely arrive later on, after developers have started using Qualcomm’s Zeroth SDK to create innovative new mobile solutions that can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm Haven also features Qualcomm® Snapdragon Sense™ ID 3D fingerprint technology, Qualcomm® Snapdragon StudioAccess™ content protection and Qualcomm® SafeSwitch™ technology.

In addition to being top-ranked by consumers on popular download portals worldwide, Avast is certified by, among others, VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, OPSWAT, ICSA Labs, and West Coast Labs. Qualcomm can use the brain-like cognitive power of the Zeroth platform to detect “abnormal behavior” on mobile devices, which can include zero-day malware or “transformational malware,” about which anti-virus solutions either don’t know or the malware was modified to bypass them (in the latter’s case).

With the Snapdragon 810 hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the past year, there’s a lot of pressure mounting on Qualcomm to ensure the 820 is the chip to have in your smartphone. Qualcomm will be providing the reference user interface and APIs, but it will be up to the smartphone manufacturers to build the final interface and include in the firmware. Smart Protect should also help improve device privacy because the solution is local rather than “cloud-based” (which can allow other third-parties to know what you’ve installed when they scan for malware), and also because it can detect when other apps try to violate your privacy by sending data to their own servers without you being aware of it. Getting the user interface right is almost as important as the technology itself, because the protection might be compromised if users don’t understand the warnings it presents.

For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Qualcomm, Snapdragon, SecureMSM, and Snapdragon StudioAccess are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. After all, technologies that should be able to detect zero-day vulnerabilities have been around for a long time in networks, and hackers are still wreaking havoc. However, the combination of signature-based security software, technologies such Qualcomm’s Smart Protect and vendors working harder to plug vulnerabilities should help at least make life a little more difficult for the bad guys.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/qualcomm-announces-breakthrough-mobile-anti-malware-technology-utilizing-cognitive-computing-300134816.html

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