Twenty-Five New Malicious Apps on Android; 30,000 to 120,000 Users Affected

Criminal interest in Google’s Android platform appears to be increasing. In March Google had to remove more than 50 malicious mobile apps from their Android Market for exploiting as many as 250,000 consumers information and downloading malware known as Droid Dream (see my blog More Mobile Apps Caught Inappropriately Collecting User Info and Installing Malware for more on that outbreak).

Now security experts from Lookout Security, have identified 25 new malicious applications in the Android Market (since removed) that have potentially damaged somewhere between 30k-120k users. This is a variant on the original malware launched in March, and Lookout believes it has been launched by the same malware developers according to a news article in Forbes.

Droid users beware

This won’t be the last outbreak on Android Apps for two reasons; money, and ease of inclusion.

With Android enjoying 53% of the mobile market the revenue potential for criminals is huge.  Add to this the awareness that Google does less than other mobile platforms to test products offered through their market place, and you’ve got a scenario ripe for exploitation. Android users who aren’t careful about what they download now have a red target on their backs.

In this outbreak, legitimate applications were copied, had malware inserted, and then posted to the Android marketplace so it is critical that if you’ve downloaded one of the apps listed below that you check who is listed as the developer. According to the Forbes article, if the developer listed is Magic Photo Studio, Mango Studio, E.T. Tean, or BeeGoo you phone may be infected:

  • Sexy Girls: Hot Japanese
  • Sexy Legs
  • HOT Girls 4
  • Beauty Breasts
  • Sex Sound
  • Sex Sound: Japanese
  • HOT Girls 1
  • HOT Girls 2
  • HOT Girls 3
  • Floating Image Free
  • System Monitor
  • Super StopWatch and Timer
  • System Info Manager
  • Call End Vibrate
  • Quick Photo Grid
  • Delete Contacts
  • Quick Uninstaller
  • Contact Master
  • Brightness Settings
  • Volume Manager
  • Super Photo Enhance
  • Super Color Flashlight
  • Paint Master

Defend Your Phone!

Users need to stay vigilant by always checking to see who has developed an app and what their reputation is. Look at reviews they’ve received and only download apps from sources that have a strong history and trust rating.

Lookout Security also recommends that you check the permissions the app is requesting, be aware of any unusual behavior on your phone and install a mobile security app.

To see a listing of top mobile security products, and gain a deeper understanding of mobile malware risks, see my blog It’s No Accident – Mobile Money and Mobile Malware Set to Go Big in 2011.

Linda

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