Trend Micro has announced the launch of software that can automatically identify, analyse and rate mobile applications.

Mobile App Reputation analyses additional mobile app attributes and works with third-party Android app stores, and can scan up to 5,000 apps a day.

By analysing the underlying code and the websites that the app connects to, and by dynamically analysing the app behaviour, Trend Micro said it can correlate the information with its own database to identify and block potentially dangerous and resource-hogging mobile apps.

A free malware scanner is available for Android users; Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes called the Google Bouncer Service "a great first step toward getting additional security control over the Google App Store", but said more security measures for all the other Android app stores are needed.

He said: “We already provide our technology to third-party app stores that are looking for an automated procedure to vet the applications they want to distribute. Integration of mobile application reputation could help to protect their users, while also helping them to provide upfront information about the potential security, privacy and resource impact of certain apps before they are downloaded.”

Initially scanning Android and Symbian applications, Trend Micro said that it will continue to add scanning of additional platforms over time.