Google purges tainted apps from Android phones
Tuesday 08 March 2011
Google has remotely purged Android smartphones of applications tainted with malicious code that could take control of the handsets and steal information.
Mobile phone security firm LookOut said the purpose of the "DroidDream" code was to "download additional applications and install them silently as system applications on the device.
"DroidDream could be considered a powerful zombie agent that can install any applications silently and execute code with root privileges at will," it said.
Google was patching the vulnerability that cyber crooks could exploit and adding measures to prevent applications containing the "malware" from getting into the Android Market of programs for mobile devices.
Google yanked the contaminated applications from the Android Market and then took the unusual step of hitting a "kill switch" that remotely removed from smartphones any of the more than 50 applications containing the dangerous code.
"We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack," Rich Cannings of Android Security said in a message posted at the Google blog during the weekend.
"We are remotely removing the malicious applications from affected devices."
Google believed that hackers were only able to get codes identifying smartphones and which version of Android ran particular devices. The attack didn't work on handsets operating on Android 2.2.2 or newer.
Life & Style blogs
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...