On the first of March, there was quite a scary stir in the Android Market. Google’s Android team was made aware of many applications being published that contained malware. Malware is short for malicious software, and is designed to secretly access your operating system without your knowledge! This is something that you defiantly do not want on your precious phone. Google knows this and with in minutes of them being told about this situation, they identified and removed the malicious applications. They posted an update on their mobile blog over the weekend, and we wanted to share it with you so you know that your Android device is safe and secure.
- We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack.
- We are remotely removing the malicious applications from affected devices. Thisremote application removal feature is one of many security controls the Android team can use to help protect users from malicious applications.
- 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. If your device has been affected, you will receive an email from [email protected] over the next 72 hours. You will also receive a notification on your device that “Android Market Security Tool March 2011” has been installed. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an application has been removed. You are not required to take any action from there; the update will automatically undo the exploit. Within 24 hours of the exploit being undone, you will receive a second email.
- We are adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market and are working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues.
Having such fast response on the issues as well as a resolution really makes me feel at ease. Even so, it is always a great idea to keep your phone protected from these kinds of outbreaks. Yesterday AndroidGals posted a review on a application called Lookout. “Just as you protect your PC with antivirus, you need to protect your phone from malware and spyware. But unlike traditional PC antivirus protection, Lookout is lightweight, battery-friendly and only consumes as much power in one day as a 33 second phone call.” Check out the review and download the app, you might thank us for it in the future!