Even the Official Android App Store Isn’t Safe Anymore

Usually we hear about smartphone users catching malware and virusess from applications they’ve downloaded from third-party websites; if only they would stick with the official Android app market they would’ve been safe. But not anymore.

Google has recently found that about two dozen malware-infected apps were in their market, and removed them as quick as possible, but not before about 200,000 users downloaded them first.

“This is the first time there has been a widespread attack. This is the first time we’ve seen it in the real official Android marketplace,” Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at Veracode, said in a telephone interview with Wired.

It appears that the hackers took a regular app, inserted some malware code into it and then uploaded similar pirated versions back onto the market where they were later picked up by other users. Some of these infected apps are:

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man

To cleanse its users’ phones of the malware, Google is remotely removing the apps from people’s phones, and is also urging users to reset or “wipe” their phones to make sure all traces of the malware are gone for good. We also urge users to install anti-virus apps to keep phones safe from malware and to run security scans on a weekly basis. One of the most recommended, effective, and free apps of  this kind is Lookout, which users should run as soon as possible to make sure their phones are safe.

(Via Wired) / (Image by hassmanm, licensed under Creative Commons)

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