High Alert: Google’s Android Market is contaminated with Noxious Software
It seems that the internet giant Google is busy eliminating malware from its Android Market place. After getting an alert from security experts, Google has unloaded over fifty apps from Android Market this week.
The Outbreak of Malware Attacks
Its all started when lompolo, a user of Reddit, noticed some pirated apps containing the DroidDream malware are published under the developer name Myournet. Another blogger at Android Police also discovered the same malware affecting a number of applications which are capable of disclosing confidential data or send high cost text messages from a user’s device. The worst thing is that these infected applications have received more than 50,000 downloads over a period of four days.
All the applications released under the names of “we20090202”, “Kingmall2010″ and “Myournet” are found to contain the malicious software DroidDream and have been removed from the Android Market place. To get a full updated list of 56 apps that are pulled out from Android Market, you can visit the blog of the Lookout Mobile Security site.
How to avoid the Malware
Though many applications have been wiped out from Android Market, the threat is still there to those who have installed and run the malicious applications into their handsets. They need to safely wipe their phone to stock condition. However as the code used to root the operating system is fixed in Android 2.2.2 and 2.3, owners of these versions can simply unload the application to avoid any mishap.
We hope it is going to be a learning lesson for Google, who is being so open to its users. Unlike Microsoft’s Marketplace and Apple’s App Store, Google allows everyone to upload and publish their apps into the Android Market. According to the section 4.4 of Android Market Developer Agreement, Google can forbid these kind of pirated applications, but only after publication. The company should have taken steps to ensure security prior to the publication as prevention is always better than cure.