malware

Android.Arspam is the latest malware threat, says Symantec

There's been a lot of news in the last few months about Trojans and other malware aimed at Android devices, and with millions of new phones and tablets being sold every week, that's not likely to change any time soon. Security software vendor Symantec has identified the latest Trojan to gain a major foothold, called "Android.Arspam". The Trojan imitates a legitimate app in the Android Market designed to aid Islamic prayers with a compass pointing towards Mecca, and has found its way onto an increasing number of Middle Eastern Android phones.

Researcher demonstrates an app taking over Android with zero permissions

The first line of defense in computer security is the user, or at least that's the way it works on Android. Whenever you install an APK from the Android Market or via an SD card or download, you're presented with a list of permissions detailing what hardware and software the app can take advantage of. Wary users often opt to skips apps that take more permissions than are needed, and smart developers often post reasons for requested permissions in the Market. But it looks as if there's at least one critical flaw in the Android permission system.  An R&D director with ViaForensics has proven that the system can be bypassed, by installing an app with no permissions at all that can nonetheless completely control the Android shell.

Google removes 22 SMS Trojans from the Android Market

Microsoft may like playing fun at the growing Android malware problem, but you'd have a hard time convincing most regular users that it's an issue. That's mostly down to admirable vigilance on Google's part in keeping the Market clean of malware and Trojans, as evidenced by their latest sweep, wherein no less than 22 fake apps were removed at once. AndroidGuys reports that all of them came from a single source, labelled as ReFraud, and were disguised as various popular but not overly obvious apps, like wallpapers and simple games.

Microsoft tempts bitter Android users with free Windows Phone 7 devices

Not everyone is as enamored with Android as we are, and given recent events with a certain big red company that shall remain nameless, it's hard to blame them. But Microsoft is using some Android owners' experience with "malware" as an excuse for promoting Windows Phone 7, and it must be said, they're doing it in a pretty unique way. Tweet out a story of your Android malware woes, attach the hashtag #droidrage, and you might just get a response from Ben Rudolph the Windows Phone evangelist, giving you some shiny new Microsoft hardware.

viaForensics claims Google Wallet has security issues

Google Wallet famously won't work on the slick Galaxy Nexus, which may bother some folks when that phone finally lands in the US. However, if you are the security-conscious sort that may not be a big deal to you in the wake of a recent report by a security firm called viaForensics that is claiming that the Google Wallet app isn't secure enough. American Banker reports that viaForensics found that app stores enough data on the phone itself that a well-crafted email from a nefarious sort could fool many users into giving up more credit card details.

Fake Rovio apps show up in the Android Market, already removed

Android Community readers are sophisticated, intelligent technology aficionados who would never be taken in by crude attempts at subterfuge. Even the ones who leave those less-than-intelligible responses in the comments section (you don't know who you are). That said, if you should happen to, you know, know anyone who might be likely to purchase Angry Birds in the next few weeks, make sure and be extra cautious. I mean, tell them to be extra cautious. According to TechCrunch, there are unscrupulous people selling fake Rovio apps in the Android Market and refusing to refund the purchase price.

Google engineer and security vendors spar over Android malware threat

With all the stories about Android malware as of late, it might be easy for a novice smartphone user to get nervous. Security software vendor McAfee agrees: they've sent out a much-publicized report claiming that threats for Android have increased by 37% in just three months, and they're predicting "75 million unique malware samples" across all mobile platforms by the end of the year. Juniper Networks is claiming a 472% increase since July. Google's Open Source Program Manager Chris DiBona had a pointed rebuttal to this and other Android malware news on his personal Google+ page, mostly (go figure) in defense of Android's open source nature.

Report: most free anti-malware apps are almost useless

Malware is a growing problem for Android, both within the Android Market and without. But when it comes to free applications, it looks like users aren't getting a lot of help. According to a security report from AVTest in Germany, nearly all the free anti-malware apps are almost completely useless, with many failing to detect even a single threat in a test environment. Their results after testing seven popular free apps are below - it looks like users are getting exactly what they pay for.

Norton expands Android offerings with Tablet Security app

Norton, peddlers of all things software security related, already has an established presence on the Android platform with its Mobile Security app, already available in the Android Market. Like always the company is looking to expand its offerings, and the latest comes in Norton Tablet Security, set to release soon for $39.99, recurring every year. Though it's marketed as a tablet app, Tablet Security will work on all Android 2.2 Froyo devices and later.

‘Battery Upgrade’ malware shows users how to make their phone vulnerable

Is anybody feeling some 90s nostalgia right about now? It seems like hardly a day goes by where we don't hear about some sneaky new way for hackers and identity thieves to compromise incautious Android users' phones. The latest is a "battery manager" app that not only compromises your data, but gives you a quick lesson on how to open up the "unknown sources" app install method your phone for easy exploitation. Once installed the app steals your phone number, email address, unique IMEI code and other personal information.
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