malware

Google Introduces “Bouncer” for Android Market, keeps us safe and malware free

In the recent months the amount of malware in the Android Market has continued to climb, or the reports have at least. When something gets as big and popular as Android you will always have those people looking to cheat, steal, and attack anything they can. Today Google has announced their plans and system to curb all of that. They are calling it the Android Market Bouncer -- like that guy in a suit standing by the door.

Symantec backs off of Android malware claims after researchers cry foul

Last week Symantec made a splash by declaring that somewhere between 1 and 5 million Android users were infected with the Android.Counterclank software, classifying it as a Trojan and declaring it malware. Almost immediately skeptics questioned the validity of Symantec's conclusions, notably competing security vendor Lookout Mobile. Lookout declared that while the 13 apps were questionable from a privacy standpoint, the Android.Counterclank API used within was aggressive adware, not malware.  Yesterday Symantec retracted their original claims in a blog post, noting that while the advertising in question is aggressive, it doesn't meet the definition of "malicious".

Lookout Mobile claims Android.Counterclank is adware, not malware

Last week Symantec made headlines, claiming that somewhere between 1 million and 5 million Android users had been infected with a particular kind of malware identified as Android.Counterclank. In an alarming blog post, the security software retailer notes Android.Counterclank's overly broad permissions and ability to send personal data through a network connection. Now rival security software vendor Lookout Mobile Security claims that Symantec's post was overblown, and that the code executing in the 13 apps identified is overly aggressive adware, not malware.

Symantec: millions of Android devices infected from Market downloads

If you're waiting for a wake-up call when it comes to Android malware, this might be it. Security software vendor Symantec has published a report claiming that anywhere from one to five million Android phones and tablets may be infected with the Android.Counterclank spyware. The infections spread from thirteen identified apps across three developers, some of which have already been removed from the Android Market, presumably by Google. Most were blatant copies of popular games or vaguely naughty apps.

Comodo Mobile Security now available in Android Market

There's a lot of growth in the anti-malware space for Android at the moment, and yet another well-known company is joining the fray. Comodo, maker of the well-known Comodo Firewall and other security software for Windows, has published Comodo Mobile Security  Free AV in the Android Market. The app includes a standard antivirus function and process manager, as well as call and SMS blocking and locking functions for individual apps. Surprisingly, all this functionality is included for free.

Pirated books show up in Android Market, Google quickly removes them

Casual piracy is an unfortunate problem in the Android Market, and it looks like it's only growing with Android's popularity. According to Paid Content, popular novels like the Harry Potter and Vampire Diaries, as well as titles from Stephen King and Patricia Cornwell. Google promptly removed the books after being alerted, but not before thousands of illicit copies were downloaded. The apps were free from a publisher calling itself "UKER", and presumably hoped to make money off of advertising.

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.
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