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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As with personal computers, smartphones are like condoms. If you settle for second-rate, you run the risk of infection.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James M. Gross” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Insecure: Malicious Android apps double in six months – December 14, 2011
Android permissions flaw allows eavesdropping, data theft, location tracking – December 2, 2011
You bank on your pretend iPhone? Are you nuts?! Android malware up 472% since July – November 16, 2011
Android security threats surge with infected ‘Angry Birds’; iPhone and iPad users unaffected – November 15, 2011
Apple’s iOS unaffected by malware as Android exploits surge 76% – August 24, 2011
McAfee: Google’s Android number one in malware – August 23, 2011
Android malware records phone calls; iPhone users unaffected – August 2, 2011
Symantec: Apple iOS offers ‘full protection,’ Google Android ‘little protection’ vs. malware attacks – June 29, 2011
Malware apps spoof Android Market to infect Android phones – June 21, 2011
Google forced to pull several malware-infested apps from Android market – June 8, 2011
Android malware sees explosive growth; even faster than with PCs – April 27, 2011
Virus-laden apps infest Google’s ‘open’ Android platform; iPhone unaffected – March 3, 2011
Security firm warns of new Android trojan that can steal personal information; iPhone unaffected – December 30, 2010
Trojan infects Android smartphones; iPhone unaffected – August 10, 2010
Millions of Android phone users slammed by malicious data theft app – July 29, 2010
Unlike proactive Apple, reactive Google doesn’t block malware from Android app store – June 4, 2010
Malware designed to steal bank information pops up in Google’s Android app store – January 11, 2010


  1. Sad thing is- FanDroids are so “i hAtoRZ teh aPpLzeS” that they actually prefer having personal data stolen, credit cards hacked, loss of data, etc to owning an iPhone.

    It’s true. Hatred makes you stupid

  2. “The hackers have monetized the malware by pushing unwanted advertisements to compromised Android phones.”

    So what the hackers are stealing is Google’s business model?

  3. Open is better if it was safe. It’s NOT!!!!
    Sing it with me, it’s not, it’s not!!
    If you like your personal info to be compromised keep your unsafe open malware infested android and Windows PC.

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