Millions of Android phone users slammed by malicious data theft app

“An app distributed by Google’s Android Market has collected private data from millions of users and forwarded it to servers China, validating Apple’s uniquely strong stance on mobile security in the iPhone App Store,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider. “The exploit, tied to an app that appeared to simply load free custom background wallpapers, was downloaded ‘anywhere from 1.1 million to 4.6 million times. The exact number isn’t known because the Android Market doesn’t offer precise data,'” according to a report by Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat.”

Advertisement: invisibleSHIELD for Apple iPhone 4

Dilger reports, “The app ‘collects a user’s browsing history, text messages, your phone’s SIM card number, subscriber identification, and even your voice mail password. It sends the data to a web site, That site is evidently owned by someone in Shenzhen, China,’ the report noted.

“The data theft was only discovered afterward, through forensics performed by mobile security firm named Lookout which sells virus and malware protection software for Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices,” Dilger reports. “The problem was announced at the Black Hat security conference being held in Las Vegas.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t worry, anti-virus leeches and PC fix-it shops, Google will help you transition your based-on-failure business models to the post-Windows world.

Smart people don’t saddle themselves with wannabes, they go with the real thing, from the real innovator. A copier’s work is by nature derivative and behind the curve. Google’s Android = Microsoft’s Windows (without any meaningful sticker price savings).

Please see also: When Closed Is Better Than Open: Apple vs. Google – Joel West, Seeking Alpha, July 29, 2010

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “breeze” for the heads up.]


  1. Article states that bot “Apple and Google are on top of their game…”

    And yet Google produce the Android Swiss cheese software and Market?

    Does not make sense to me. Someone please explain.

  2. I know a few people who went off the reservation and switched to various Android Phones. All but one returned it and went back to the iPhone. It should be noted that none are Mac users, so no Fanboi charges could be laid at their feet.

    All did it to get on Verizon, which they liked, but they didn’t like the phone. Enough said.

  3. This will work out well for the Microsoft Windows users that look forward to buying something that later is used to hack into and invades their privet personal information and then sell it around the world. Good job Google! You developed something that already had an ongoing market. The MS Widows users will be lining up for this Android turd.

  4. I did a little more research on this and stumbled across this article:

    It seems to imply both Apple and Google are experiencing this, although the journalism is quite poor and doesn’t mention any numbers or specific apps. Many of the commenters are bashing Apple though.

    I’d be interested to see which iOS apps are affected and how they got passed the Apple review team

  5. I want to see this news all over the main stream media tonight. I’ll be sitting in front of the 6:30 news awaiting CBS, NBC, ABC to report NOT! If they went crazy on intenna gate,,,,this news hould be on every news outlet, right? Or has Google bought them off?

  6. @AquaBoy4ever,

    Eric T. Mole attended the recent Bilderberg conference in Spain, and we can be assured he was up to no good, along with Billy Gates and Craig Mundie.

  7. I don’t understand why this hasn’t happened SOONER, and WORSE. truly, if the android world is so uncontrolled, why is this sort of disaster taking so long?

    I’m honestly asking. Any ideas?

  8. Man, the FUD is flying.

    On iPhone, a third party analytics package can get the device id and the current location.

    On Android it can get the serial number, imei, browser history, voicemail password, SMS history, etc.

    Sounds pretty comparable to me… Good job “Journalists”.

  9. No Gizmodo article…

    No Mashable article..

    the story does not even show up on Google News > Science/Tech..

    Go figure… either they are cock blocking or I guess Android users don’t matter..

    I still find it funny that millions of Android users were downloading Twilight wallpapers! haha

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.