Start-up Lacoon Mobile Security has begun offering software for Android and Apple iOS devices designed to detect malware attacks through what amounts to a sandboxing approach.

Michael Shaulov, founder and CEO of Lacoon, says the lightweight agent software examines mobile applications through behavior analysis and a process that involves uploading them to the Lacoon cloud gateway. The goal is to detect zero-day malware and not only notify the user, but take specific actions to get rid of the malware. In some cases, including rootkits that are becoming known to target mobile devices, Lacoon may not be able to uninstall them but instead will stop rootkit actions through a block-and-containment approach.

One way Lacoon wants to stop malware it detects on infected and compromised devices is by alerting and blocking attempts at exfiltration of data. "We want to understand if the mobile device is compromised by some kind of Trojan," says Shaulov.

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Lacoon's other two co-founders are Ohad Bobrov, vice president of research and development, and Emanuel Avner, the CFO. Lacoon has its research and development arm in Israel and its headquarters in San Francisco.

The start-up is being backed by $8 million in venture-capital funding led by Index Ventures, plus $2.7 million in angel investing, including from Shlomo Kramer, CEO at Imperva. Kramer helped to start Check Point Software Technologies and was an early investor in Trusteer (acquired by IBM) and Palo Alto Networks.

The Lacoon software agent can work with some mobile-device management products, including MobileIron, AirWatch and Fiberlink MaaS 360, for distribution to devices. Lacoon is pricing its anti-malware agent and service per device per month, with 1,000 devices costing about $6 per device per month.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: emessmer@nww.com

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