March 2, 2011 weblog
Android users get malware with their apps
(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 forced to removed a large number of apps from the official Android App Market.
The apps were discovered to contain malware, according to a report from Android Police. Before Google realized the problem, which was reported by a Reddit user, the apps containing malicious code were downloaded over 50,000 times before their removal.
Once Google was made aware of the problem, it took them less than five minutes to yank all of the apps from the marketplace. Unfortunately, the apps had been up in the Android App Market for roughly four days before the problem came to light. This is one of the security concerns related to Google's open approach to the app store. Individual apps are not examined by Google before they are posted to the App Market.
The apps, which were copies of some of the most popular apps in the Android App Market, had been modified to contain a Trojan horse. The App publisher who posted these malicious code-containing apps, Myournet, manged to post 21 infected apps in total. The code, which Google described as a "root exploit," is designed to steal all of the data on an infected Android-based device, and may possibly be able to re-purpose the phone without the user ever being aware.
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