Android's popularity sees rise in malware threats

Android's popularity sees rise in malware threatsLeading security software boffins Symantec has warned of several nasty malware programs and other malicious threats lurking under the ever-expanding shadow of Uncle Android.

The once-plucky operating system has exploded in popularity over the last 18 months, and while that's obviously good news for Google, it's not just the ordinary paying punter who's taken a shine to the platform.

Writing on the company blog, Symantec says it's noticed a steady rise in seemingly harmless Android apps playing host to malware and passing undetected onto the digital shelves of app stores.

It mentions the case of Steamy Window, a legitimate app that Symantec found on unregulated third-party Android sites to be playing host to a newly identified piece of Android malware called Android.Pjapps.

The likes of Steamy Window make for ideal hosts for this type of threat because of their tendency to request more excessive permissions than most apps. Once installed, the malicious software looks and acts similarly to the real thing, but behind the scenes is trying to build a botnet that can take over the Android handset and install apps, add illegitimate bookmarks, send out spam and send texts to premium-rate numbers.

Symantec declined to name specific Android marketplaces where it found the corrupted app lurking, for fear of unfairly tarnishing their reputations. However, it recommends that people only download apps from the official Android Marketplace.

Read more about: Android

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 1 comment

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 2, 2011 at 12:29

...PS - not that I trust Google, and by extension Android, at all. First thing when I setup an Android phone: disable all sync action. 2nd thing: sell the phone after 'playing' with it. Then buy one with a 'decent' OS not designed by the World's largest adv ertising company.
PPS: great OS, though ;) (back under my desk)


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