“Android has a built-in kill switch for nasty apps. And Google, apparently, is not afraid to use it,” Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes. “Over the weekend, the search giant announced that it had remotely wiped ‘a number’ of malicious Android apps from users’ phones, programs that earlier in the week had been identified as malware and pulled from Android’s app store.”
MacDailyNews Take: It’s one thing to have a “kill switch,” it’s quite another to be forced to actually use it.
“Google also wrote that it’s contacting law enforcement about the issue and updating Android devices with a fix for the exploit used by those apps–pirated copies of legitimate programs with malicious code weaved in–designed to prevent any further compromise of users’ data. The company added that ‘we are adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market and are working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues,'” Greenberg reports. “Exactly what those ‘measures’ might be, Google isn’t saying.”
MacDailyNews Take: That information is on a need-to-know basis. If you don’t like it, change your name and/or just move. (Read as if wheezed by a sniveling mole.)
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Oh, by the way:
Of course this remote kill switch will not remove any other code that may have been dropped onto the device as a result of the initial infection… [For those infected] it could be worth your while investigating the possibility of getting a replacement handset or reinstalling the operating system on the one you have if possible. – Rik Ferguson, Director of Security Research & Communication, Trend Micro
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
Virus-laden apps infest Google’s ‘open’ Android platform; iPhone unaffected – March 3, 2011
Glenn Beck: Be wary of Google, they way they think is creepy (with video) – February 17, 2011
Google CEO Schmidt: If you don’t like being in Google Street View then ‘just move’ – October 28, 2010
Google CEO Schmidt: Change your name to escape ‘cyber past’ – August 18, 2010