Google nukes dozens of Android apps after malware scare
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has pulled a host of free applications from its Android Market storefront following reports that the apps were infected with malware. More than 50 Android apps--credited to developers Kingmall2010, we20090202 and Myournet--are said to contain the DroidDream malware, which seeks to gain root access to the user's device, collecting a range of available data and downloading more malicious code to the smartphone without the consumer's knowledge or consent.
The Android apps in question were first discovered by a user on the popular news aggregation website Reddit and reported to Google by the Android Police blogging team; although Google took steps to quickly delete the infected apps, reports suggest at least 50,000 Android users may have downloaded the various games and utilities, most of which are pirated versions of popular apps. Click here for mobile security firm Lookout's complete list of infected apps.
Although Android's open-source ethos is credited as a primary catalyst behind the operating system's enormous growth, malware threats underline the challenges inherent in maintaining an open mobile ecosystem. Google cites violations of the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement or Content Policy as the culprit behind most app removals; in the event a malicious app poses a threat, Google can activate Android Market's remote application removal tool to wipe all installed copies of the software. Google also sends the user a notification if it deletes an app from their Android device.
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