Malware hits Android Market, removal tool issued by Google
Tagged with: Android Google Malware
After being hit by 58 malicious applications last week, about 260,000 android devices suffered infection with a rootkit. Published by Myournet, the infected applications made android-run devices susceptible to hackers. In an immediate response, Google froze the associated developer accounts, removed the apps from the android market and took legal action. A security fix has been made available for devices that are still infected.
According to Google’s official blog, the malicious apps targeted known vulnerabilities, affecting only Android versions 2.2.1 and lower. The applications gathered IMEI/IMSI codes on infected devices, thereby compromising the identity of mobile devices and the android versions they use. However, Google’s official blog reads, “Given the nature of the exploits, the attacker(s) could even access other data”. As indicated, the code may even make it possible to download other harmful data without the user’s knowledge.
To avoid any further exploits, Google has offered a ‘remote application removal tool’ developed by the android team. “We are pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undoes the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices”, states Google. Once the Android Market Security Tool March 2011is installed, android users will receive a notification confirming the same. If an infection is detected, ‘email@example.com’ will send an email to the user within 72 hours. The infected apps will be automatically removed without any efforts from the user’s side. Users will be regularly notified on the status of their device.
In view of the vulnerabilities to which personal devices are prone, it is the responsibility of users to check permissions and security certificates before downloading and installing applications. Apparently, 260,000 android users learnt it the hard way!
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