Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Google Removed Malware from Android Market and Infected Phones

An alarming incident has just come to light for Android users. Some kooky individual plucked 21 apps from the Android Market, added root exploits, and republished them as new apps. These apps were then downloaded tens of thousands of times over a four day period.

Thanks to redditor 'lompolo' the scheme was uncovered. It was posted on reddit, then picked up by Android Police, who did two very important things. They contacted Google, and then did some more investigation. They were able to shed light on the fact that not only were these infected apps rooting phones, and sending information back to servers in California, they were also able to download and execute new code.

What can I say? This is pure EVIL in my eyes, certainly much more than a practical joke! I guess some nutty people have nothing better to do with their time than to hurt others. What a boring life they must lead. 

Google moved quickly after being alerted to this, and pulled all 21 apps from the Android Market, and utilized its rarely used ability to remotely remove apps from infected phones of the unsuspecting users who installed them.

In the past malware has been associated with non-Market apps, and this appearance in the Android Market is an eye-opener. A good practice for all Android users to put in place would be to more thoroughly read about each app before installing them to your phone.

Be careful folks! Thanks again to 'lompolo'. We need users like this to help combat against the ones that wish to do harm. So unfortunate. 

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