Massive Android malware operation may have infected 5 million users; many infected apps remain on Android Market

“The largest-ever Android malware campaign may have duped as many as 5 million users into downloading infected apps from Google’s Android Market, Symantec said today,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.
“Dubbed “Android.Counterclank” by Symantec, the malware was packaged in 13 different apps from three different publishers, with titles ranging from ‘Sexy Girls Puzzle’ to ‘Counter Strike Ground Force,’” Keizer reports. “Many of the infected apps were still available on the Android Market as of 3 p.m. ET Friday.”

Keizer reports, “Android.Counterclank is a Trojan horse that when installed on an Android smartphone collects a wide range of information, including copies of the bookmarks and the handset maker. It also modifies the browser’s home page. The hackers have monetized the malware by pushing unwanted advertisements to compromised Android phones.”

“Some of the 13 apps that Symantec identified as infected have been on the Android Market for at least a month, according to the revision dates posted on the e-store,” Keizer reports. “Symantec, however, discovered them only yesterday.”

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