* Service seeks to find malware before it infects
* Verizon will be first app retailer to use it
BOSTON, July 20 (Reuters) - A start-up that offers anti-virus software for Android phones is looking to make it safer to shop for mobile applications.
Lookout Mobile Security, whose software protects some 10 million mobile devices, says it has developed technology that allows it to scour the hundreds of thousands of games, ringtone makers, photo editors and other mobile apps to find the relatively few tainted ones.
Dubbed the Mobile Threat Network, Lookout’s technology is designed to find the bad apples before they infect any devices.
Lookout’s first assignment is protecting the Verizon Wireless V Cast Apps store. The carrier says its have never been infected by malware.
The technology might have more impact for Google (GOOG.O). The company has pulled more than 100 malicious apps from its Android Market over the past year, said Lookout Chief Executive Officer John Hering.
One recent example: A virus called DroidDreamLight infected between 30,000 and 120,000 Android phones before Google yanked the tainted apps in May, according to the Lookout blog.
Hering declined to say whether Lookout was in talks to sign up Google. A spokesman for Goggle said he couldn’t immediately comment. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Carol Bishopric)