Millions caught up in Android botnet

Millions caught up in Android botnet

Summary: More malware found lurking in the official Google Android market.

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TOPICS: Security
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Security firm Symantec has uncovered a massive botnet that may have lured millions of unwitting Android users into downloading malware infected apps from the official Google Android Market.

The Trojan, dubbed 'Android.Counterclank' by Symantec, was packaged into at least 13 free games published by three different publishers on the official app download site. The following apps are known to be affected:

Published by iApps7 Inc:

  • Counter Elite Force
  • Counter Strike Ground Force
  • CounterStrike Hit Enemy
  • Heart Live Wallpaper
  • Hit Counter Terrorist
  • Stripper Touch Girl

From publisher Ogre Games:

  • Balloon Game
  • Be Millionaire
  • Wild Man

From publisher redmicapps:

  • Pretty women lingerie puzzle
  • Sexy Girls Photo Game
  • Sexy Girls Puzzle
  • Sexy Women Puzzle

According to Symantec researcher Irfan Asrar, Counterclank is capable of carrying out commands received from a remote server and is capable of both stealing information from, and displaying ads on, infected Android handsets.

According to Symantec, Counterclank has the highest distribution of any Android malware identified so far this year.

Back in December of last year I wrote about six problems that was facing Android that Google was doing nothing to address. One of those issues was security, both the lack of decent security tools and the increasing proliferation of malware appearing in the official Google Android Market. It seems clear that Google's idea of curating the official download site is to limited to cleaning up toxic spills rather than preventing them in the first place. This process doesn't seem to be working and is putting user's data at risk.

It's time Google started taking security much more seriously.

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Topic: Security

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55 comments
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  • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

    Could Google be better? Sure, and I am sure they will get there but honestly, the percentage of infections is still very low, even if the press wants to hit it hard.

    For the record, similar botnets had been found on jailbroken iOS devices as well so I think to some degree this is unpreventable 100% of the time as the user will always be a weak link and the honest people will be colateral damage!
    slickjim
    • So "jailbroken" iDevices might get something similar?

      @Peter Perry .. Hmmmm what to do? What to do? Oh yeah DON'T jailbreak your iDevice:) Yeah that's the ticket.So instead of enslaving you the wall in the wall garden is there to protect you? Interesting the wall in the walled garden is actually there to protect me not hinder me. Funny I wish I had thought of that myself... Oh wait i did realize this to be so. So are these Android devices that were or are infected jailbroken only or can this happen to any and all Android devices?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @James Quinn It is there to hinder you; it's like being nice and safe in 23/7 solitary confinement.
        jgm@...
      • Except not.....

        @jgm@... I have email, text, web browsing, phone, and a host of communication tools at my fingertips. I also have facebook and the rest of social media. YOu choose a poor comparison with solitary my friend.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @James Quinn
        +1
        Ram U
      • Apple's purpose in building the wall....

        @James Quinn ...is to lock you in to their environment. Though that does have security advantages, those advantages are purely coincidental. The real reason it is there is to ensure that every App purchased kicks a few pennies into Apple's $90 B pile of cash.
        cornpie
    • You are living proof of what I keep saying ....

      @Peter Perry Android users are some of the dumbest people in the world.

      Denying facts just shows how low an ignorant fandroid can get when it comes to defending the horrendous security record on Android. Fact is Android has being flooded with malware pretty much since day one.

      And about botnet on iOS .... show some proof.
      wackoae
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @wackoae You're so smart, look it up yourself!

        I guess all those people who defected here during the cold war are stupid as well huh? I mean, after all the East Germans should have just realized the wall was there to protect them right?

        I realize this isn't politics but I will take Android and its inherent vulnerabilities over the heavy handed tactics of iOS any day!
        slickjim
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @wackoae You're so smart, look it up yourself!

        I guess all those people who defected here during the cold war are stupid as well huh? I mean, after all the East Germans should have just realized the wall was there to protect them right?

        I realize this isn't politics but I will take Android and its inherent vulnerabilities over the heavy handed tactics of iOS any day!
        slickjim
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @pagan Jim

        Good for you man, you keep that fragile, gimped, piece of dung and I will stick with the Resound I replaced my 4s with!
        slickjim
      • Remind me... Have I ever called Android or an Android device dung?

        @Peter Perry ... There is a clear difference between you and I right there my friend. Still I'm not threatened by Androids success and neither is Apple from what I can see. So I suppose that might point to why your responses often turn out to be so shall we say colorful:)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @pagan Jim You're clueless if you think Apple's success in any way has a bearing on my life.

        The difference between you and I? I am a person who very much wears my emotions on my sleeve and I think for myself. I don't want a company telling me that I can use their device only one way.

        If you notice, my posts about tablets aren't usually negative about the iPad, just pro Android... Posts about Apple laptops of computers are mostly positive and I never complain about my Air!

        The iPhone on the other hand, I was fresh off of 3+ months trying to make it work for me as well as Android does and at every turn was frustration! You actually caught me on the other article the very same night, that I had enough and sold the phone!

        So you see, it has nothing to do with Apple, everything to do with a device that does not deserve the praise people like you throw at it!
        slickjim
      • Would I trust someone who can't even use the web to check facts? No.

        @joe.smetona Actually, ZDNet is wholly owned by CNet which is now wholly owned by CBS Entertainment. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZDNet)

        Microsoft has pretty much nothing to do with it.
        TheWerewolf
      • Yes I am not emotional, not in the least.

        @Peter Perry... So you are saying that you personally don't like the praise given to the iPhone. Well I do. So there is a natural impass. You find the iPHone wanting and I do not. I know for a fact that while my opinion is indeed shared by some I know it is not all. That seems to be your basic problem here because the iPhone is not a good match for your needs/wants you can't stand the idea or except that for many it is? You should emotional or not be able to except this and move on. Are you trying to say that Android is a good match for you it SHOULD be a good fit for everyone? On the very face of that statement you should see the flaws sin that logic and yes there will be those who praise the iPhone for it is a wonderful fit for their given needs/wants and that should not spur you to answer... "Oh no it's NOT!" Cause again that is over the top. Who are you trying to convince here? I know the iPhone is a great fit for me... I know Android fits your needs/wants so where are you going with this and why?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

      @Peter Perry Jailbroken iphones? Jailbroken windows phones? The world jailbroken is the secret. I am a very happy user of a Windows phone and there is no way I am going back to Android.
      panoslondon1
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @panoslondon1 Never tried Windows phone, I hear good things about it but I have yet to see a phone that appealed to me.
        slickjim
      • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

        @Peter Perry
        You can try HTC Titan right now, but if you could wait for 3 to 4 months, you could try HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia N900. Both are going to be good devices with LTE on AT&T network.
        Ram U
    • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

      @Peter Perry
      The press wants to hit Android malware hard? You have no idea about the press hitting something hard. One Apple virus would have Ed Bott and others screaming into megaphones from tall buildings.
      rfoto
    • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

      This is all garbage and WRONG WRONG WRONG. There is no malware, no trojan, no botnet, nothing of the kind. The Lookout security company is out with the news and is calling Symantec for the self serving garbage they are spewing. Next time that you decide to write an article about malware, look at the source and do some research to confirm the story from multiple sources.
      larryvand
  • RE: Millions caught up in Android botnet

    I'm biting my lip on this one. Most of you here already know how I feel about the mess that is Android.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion