malware

Android 4.2 security system cracks down on malware with app scanning

Malicious apps on Android may not be as big a problem as some would have you believe, but they are still a threat. That's especially true when you're sideloading apps onto your handset, as Google Play's built in security features don't check third-party apps. While Google Play does scan all apps that are uploaded to the store, apps from third-party sources get to skip the security check, potentially allowing for some nasty situations.

Fake Angry Birds peddlers fined £50,000

Ah, sweet, sweet justice. Instead of the slap on the wrist and a ban from the Google Play Store as usual, the developer of fake versions of several popular Android games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope will get a more lasting punishment. According to the BBC, The British government has sentenced a Latvian developer to a £50,000 fine for counterfeit apps posted on the Android Market in November of last year.

Android malware spreads through infected websites

It's interesting to watch the security landscape unfold on a new platform like Android, in a macabre sort of way. On the one hand we have newfangled attacks that use relatively modern ways of stealing money or information, like phony text message trojans. On the other we've got old-school malware that spreads through modified versions of popular software. Now there's a new trick up malicious programmers' sleeves, though it's only new to Android: spreading malware through infected websites.

Concept app steals keyboard taps via phone sensors

Hey, security researchers. We appreciate what you do. But the world of malware is worrisome enough without yo giving the bad guys even more ideas. A graduate student at Pennsylvania State University has upped the creepy factor by creating a concept app that can steal keylogging information by surreptitiously reading information from a smartphone's various sensors, like the accelerometer. The app is called "Taplogger", and it's just a proof of concept. For the moment.

Spyware found in Japanese Google Play Store

Ho boy. It seems that at Android enthusiast can't get his head down before yet another malware story slides across his writing desk. This time it's from Japan, where a researcher employed by McCafee found naughty apps in the regional Google Play Store sending private information to a remote server. Carlos Castillo documented his work on McAfee's website. The apps in question are the usual low-quality, generally useless fare, promising video players, anime and sexual content, which they only deliver after stealing personal information. Good grief, they could at least have the decency to engage in some good-old-fashioned piracy while they're at it.

Fake Angry Birds Space app is a trojan in disguise

Angry Birds Space is a lot of fun. No, really, it justifies the hype - if you haven't tried it yet, download the free game in the Google Play Store. But for Pete's sake, make sure you're using the Google Play Store: a fake app is unsurprisingly masquerading as the ultra-popular mobile game to add Android phones and tablets to its network of infected devices, remotely downloading more malicious apps and displaying ads. Security researchers at Sophos spotted the fake app in third-party app stores, but says that the official Rovio files are not affected.

Security concept app steals Android info with no permissions

Android security nuts, get your tin foil hats ready. A security researcher at Leviathan Security Group has posted a proof of concept application that can steal massive amounts of personal data when installed on an Android phone or tablet. No big deal, right? We've known about this sort of thing for ages. Except that Paul Brodeur's app can grab a shocking amount of data with zero Android system permissions, something that isn't supposed to be possible. The security loopholes exist in both Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, and can be presumed for other versions of Android as well.
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