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.

The Android.Counterclank malware is technically a trojan: it can receive remote commands and send back personal information. It’s a serious risk for anyone who has it installed on their hardware. Exact download numbers aren’t known, but looking briefly at some of the estimated downloads in the web version of the Android Market, Symantec could very well be correct. This is the largest documented security breach for Android so far, and it doesn’t help that the apps are still available for download.

If you’ve downloaded any of the apps listed below, remove them immediately.You should also change any passwords you have stored on your Android device and check any vital accounts for illicit access.

  • Counter Elite Force
  • Counter Strike Ground Force
  • CounterStrike Hit Enemy
  • Heart Live Wallpaper
  • Hit Counter Terrorist
  • Stripper Touch girl
  • Balloon Game
  • Deal & Be Millionaire
  • Wild Man
  • Pretty women lingerie puzzle
  • Sexy Girls Photo Game
  • Sexy Girls Puzzle
  • Sexy Women Puzzle

Calling this a huge problem is putting things mildly. Some of these apps have been available for months. As great a tool as the relatively open Android Market is, the continual discovery of spyware and malware in widely available apps is a black eye on the Market and Android as a whole. We await Google’s reesponse to Symantec’s findings with interest.

[via AndroidGuys]