Feeds

Tainted apps worm into official Android store

DroidDream creates security nightmare

The Power of One Infographic

Dozens of tainted applications have been discovered on the official Android Market.

More than 50 applications have been found to be infected with a new type of Android malware called DroidDream, an information stealer. Fraudsters repackaged legitimate apps (mostly games) so that they included malicious code before uploading them to the marketplace. The tactic has been seen in mobile marketplaces in China and elsewhere but this is the first time the approach has been successfully applied in the US, mobile security firm Lookout reports.

Google responded to the reports of problems by purging the apps from its mobile marketplace. Credit for initially noticing a potential problem goes to Lompolo, a user at popular news aggregator site to Reddit.

The scare over modified apps on the official Android Market follows a security flap on third-party app stores late last week. Scammers modified an app called Steamy Window to incorporate backdoor code before uploading it to third-party stores. The malign application is designed to surreptitiously send text messages to premium rate numbers, earning scammers a commission in the process while leaving victims well out of pocket and probably unaware of the scam prior to receiving a bumper bill. The malware, which is capable of downloading other malign applications, blocks alerts telling phone users that they've exceeded their quota of texts.

The malware – dubbed Android Pjapps by Symantec – also has the capability to navigate to websites and add bookmarks to the user's browser, characteristics that would come in handy for running click fraud internet ad scam campaigns. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.