AVG releases first antivirus scanner for Windows Phone 7

AVG has been around for quite awhile and have recently entered the growing mobile space (we hear Android is gangbusters for a/v scanners). They've now released a free "suite" for Windows Phones, combining an earlier product (Safe Search) with an actual virus scanner:

"Free Security Suite from AVG Mobilation – security software for Windows Phone™. Keep your device safe with just one click"

  • Safe Web Surfing - Stay safe from phishing and malware while surfing the web
  • Safe Search - Allowing you search the web avoiding malicious web sites

In addition, the virus scanner portion will scan over your music and images. Surprisingly, the scan is pretty fast though we do have to wonder about other vulnerabilities such as PDFs, docx and of course programs. We imagine though when it comes to the latter, AVG can only do so much within the siloed limitations of the Windows Phone OS. So how much of a threat could there be from music or images? We're not too really to sure but we're more concerned about side-loading XAP files from untrusted sources--something which this app doesn't cover.

Still, for being free, it's not bad. It can update/download new AV definitions and the Safe Search/Web Surfing is not bad if you're worried about going to a malicious site. Worth the download? Perhaps--at 5MB, it sure won't kill your device and giving it once-over (under 30 secs for most of you) may not be a bad idea. Read more at https://www.avgmobilation.com/ and pick the app up here in the Marketplace.

Update: Rafael Rivera has broken down the app to see what exactly it does. As of now, since there are no known threats to WP7, it scans for EICAR (test file) and the word עברית (Hebrew) but has no generics capability, meaning there's very little that this will actually scan for.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Useless app.
  • LOL... what for??
  • Just trying to ride the "Windows" name and figure that people are using to doing this on their desktops so the phone needs it as well. I doubt it, but w/e. Maybe somehow IE9 could get attacked but since it (should) be sandboxed like every other app, there's little to do, also there's no add-ons running or anything, attack vectors are pretty much close to zero.
  • OK the app is usless, I can agree on that.But it hase one feature that opens for other possibilies...If this app can scan your websurfing (which I thought was a nono in WP7) then other apps can to...Is this a possibilityt for add-ons like lastpass to better intregate with the os?
  • i thought this was for the publicity at first. But then i realized Microsoft saying IE9 on Mango is the exactly the same for the desktop. So technically we could get virus right?
  • no.
  • Microsoft says that it has same HTML5 support as desktop IE9 - but it does not support ActiveX controls, Flash, and various other add-ons that became the source of malware.
  • And here is what it does: http://www.withinwindows.com/2011/09/07/the-only-time-youll-see-avg-secu...
  • absolutely useless app. a malware scanning app that doesn't have native access to the phone, let alone access to other apps is absolutely useless. it'd be like having a mall security guard that could only patrol the food court, but absolutely nowhere else. does that make any sense to you?
  • I love that analogy
  • I'm not sure it's absolutely useless. Even Gmail scans my images automatically for viruses. Sure, that's a low-level threat but my guess is AVG is getting their foot in the door for later on. AV companies, though often built on some hype, would rather be proactive than reactive in these types of situations. We also had quite a few AV apps for WinMo and those really never proved to be beneficial either. But as I mention, the biggest threat is loading untrusted XAP files on your phone rather than images/music.
  • Microsoft, as a matter of pride, should have rejected this app :) Come on, Microsoft, just give WP users Security Essentials if you're concerned about potential viruses :)I think when a marketplace doesn't have any AV, the impression that I get is that the platform and app review process is secure; if I see AV apps, it seems that there are malicious apps being allowed into said app store.
  • I can just see some tech blogs picking it up and writing a headline:Windows Phone 7 secure? Guess again!When it comes to WP7, some of those bloggers are out for blood. Amazing how a phone with very little market share (for now) makes the big guys so nervous. :)
  • So, basically just as useless like it is for Windows desktop...
  • Please release anti- virus software for windows 8.1