Google Android Market malware problem escalates

Google Android Market malware problem escalates

Summary: Researchers at Lookout Mobile Security have again nabbed variants of the DroidDream malware family in the Android Market.

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Google's inability to keep malware-laden apps out of the Android Market continues to be a source of embarrassment for the fast-growing mobile operating system.

Researchers at Lookout Mobile Security have again nabbed variants of the DroidDream malware family in the Android Market. This time, the company found four different Android apps published by a developer named “Mobnet.”

[ SEE: Malware sneaks by Google's Android Market gatekeepers ]

The infected applications include:follow Ryan Naraine on twitter

  • Quick FallDown
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Bubble Buster
  • Best Compass & Leveler Note: There is legitimate application that has a package name similar to that of Best Compass & Leveler.  The Trojanized application capitalizes the package name (i.e. com.gb.CompassLeveler), while the legitimate application does not (i.e. com.gb.compassleveler).

According to Lookout, the malware was available in the Android Market for a short period of time so the number of downloads was limited to 1000 – 5000.
Google has since removed the malicious apps but it is clear the company needs to implement some rudimentary malware checks before an app is made available in the Android Market.

Topics: Android, Google, Malware, Security

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13 comments
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  • Clearly they don't care. They haven't even offered up a plan

    to prevent it...
    Johnny Vegas
    • This will be Amazon's strength.

      @Johnny Vegas

      When they release a tablet, Amazon's curated Market is just another reason the Amazon tablet (if/when it appears) will not be a "Google" branded device with Google services.
      Bruizer
  • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

    They are google, why would they care. Your information to sell to the highest bidder, Do No Harm, yeah right.
    hopp64
  • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

    I suspect that they don't want the responsibility. From what I've read, many Android users blame the users.

    I think that the platform bears some responsibility, no different than steps take to try to make Windows more secure.
    dhmccoy
  • don't worry that's just FUD

    peddled by Apple and M$ against their nemesis.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

      @Linux Geek

      com.gb.CompassLeveler (trojanized)
      OR
      com.gb.compassleveler (legitimate)

      What's an ordinary user to do? This is TOO easy for the miscreants. Why on earth (or anywhere else in Google's mapped universe) hasn't Google implemented case-insensitive naming for apps in the Android Market. At least Windows, being case-insensitive, would force the miscreants to misspell, or add characters to, the name of the trojanized app. For example, com.gb.compassleveleripwnu.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

        @Rabid Howler Monkey
        because only lame and ignorant people don't know that in Linux casing is important unlike windoze. They get what they deserve!
        Linux Geek
  • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

    One would think that obtaining software from the marketplace, as opposed to someone's site, would be safe.
    Zheldon
  • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

    I like the Amazon Market. Less apps but better quality. Also the free paid app a day thing is cool. I hope to see other companies step up and create app stores. Competition drives innovation and benefits consumers. Walled gardens only benefit the one building the wall.
    sharkboyjohn
  • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

    No further comments! Sent from my virus, malware free Windows phone.
    panoslondon1
  • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

    Might I just add, the people who installed the so called "infected apps" gave the application permission to "Allow an application to send SMS messages, (which might cost you money)".
    If you give a "Scientific Calculator" permission to send SMS's, i'm sorry more fool you.
    dunners6
  • Closed systems...

    ...don't look so bad now. If control means safety then what is wrong with companies like Apple keeping control.
    qjames
    • RE: Google Android Market malware problem escalates

      @qjames
      The problem is Apple's method of control is far to much. Their control limits the capabilities of the device way below that of a dumb phone in some scenarios.

      A clear example is simply the inability to create groups to organize your contacts. That's available on majority of dumb phones from the 1980s :O

      iPhone 3GS user hear ;)
      MrElectrifyer