Google purges tainted apps from Android phones

Mar 07, 2011
A Motorola phone powered by Android. Google has remotely purged Android smartphones of applications tainted with a malicious code that could take control of the handsets and steal information.

Google has remotely purged Android smartphones of applications tainted with a malicious code that could take control of the handsets and steal information.

Mobile phone security firm LookOut said the purpose of the "DroidDream" code was to "download additional applications and install them silently as system applications on the device.

"DroidDream could be considered a powerful zombie agent that can install any applications silently and execute code with root privileges at will," it said.

was patching the vulnerability that cyber crooks could exploit and adding measures to prevent applications containing the "malware" from getting into the Android Market of programs for .

Google yanked the contaminated applications from the Android Market and then took the unusual step of hitting a "kill switch" that remotely removed from smartphones any of the more than 50 applications containing the dangerous code.

"We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack," Rich Cannings of Android Security said in a message posted at the Google blog during the weekend.

"We are remotely removing the malicious from affected devices."

Google believed that hackers were only able to get codes identifying smartphones and which version of Android ran particular devices. The attack didn't work on handsets operating on 2.2.2 or newer.

Explore further: Beyond GoPro: Skiers and snowboarders can measure everything with apps, hardware

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Android users get malware with their apps

Mar 02, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- As new platforms make their way into the market there will always someone who is looking to exploit them for illegal or unethical ends. More proof of that fact has come today when Google was ...

Virus sends costly messages from Android phones

Aug 11, 2010

Mobile security firm Lookout on Tuesday warned that a booby-trapped Movie Player application is infecting Android phones in Russia with a virus that sends costly text messages.

Recommended for you

Microsoft beefs up security protection in Windows 10

1 hour ago

What Microsoft users in business care deeply about—-a system architecture that supports efforts to get their work done efficiently; a work-centric menu to quickly access projects rather than weather readings ...

Team infuses science into 'Minecraft' modification

20 hours ago

The 3-D world of the popular "Minecraft" video game just became more entertaining, perilous and educational, thanks to a comprehensive code modification kit, "Polycraft World," created by University of Texas at Dallas professors, ...

Microsoft's Garage becomes an incubator of consumer apps

22 hours ago

For five years now, The Garage has served as Microsoft's incubator for employees' passion projects, an internal community of engineers, designers, hardware tinkerers and others from all different parts of the company who ...

Students win challenge for real-time traffic app

23 hours ago

Three University of Texas at Arlington Computer Science and Engineering students have won a $10,000 prize in the NTx Apps Challenge for a smart traffic light network that adjusts traffic light schedules to ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

semmsterr
not rated yet Mar 07, 2011
Thanks, Big Brother!
astro_optics
not rated yet Mar 07, 2011
Scary...isn't the owner at least asked?
Lupus_Lacerta
not rated yet Mar 08, 2011
But you weren't asked for the malicious applications to be installed. I would like to know if anything malicious had been installed on my phone, but grateful if it had been removed remotely.