More Infected Apps Found in Android Market
|Image composite by SecurityNewsDaily|
Security researchers have found two new pieces of Android-specific malware in the past three days, adding to the quickly growing list of infected apps capable of stealing personal information from the palm of your hand.
Called Plankton and YZHCSMS, both pieces of malware were found embedded in apps in Google's official Android Market, said researchers at North Carolina State University who discovered the corrupt apps.
Plankton harvests a user's device ID and sends it to a remote server; it then receives a payload from the remote server that executes a program on victims' phones to gain access to their bookmarks, browsing history and runtime logs.
Plankton was found in 10 apps, including "Shake To Fake," "Angry Birds Rio Unlock," "Angry Birds Cheater" and "Chit Chat," from the developer Crazy Apps. Apps infected with Plankton have collectively been downloaded more than 210,000 times.
The other dangerous Android Trojan , YZHCSMS, works by spamming users' phones with premium-rate text messages every 50 minutes. The sneaky malware removes any evidence that you've received a message, so the only time you'd be alerted to it would be when you receive your phone bill.
Researchers found that YZHCSMS has been in the official Android Market for at least three months, as well as in third-party Chinese app markets and forums.
These new Trojans add to an infamous list of malware found recently in official Android apps, including DroidDream and DroidDreamLight , both of which harvest users' phone info and then download malicious code to phones from remote servers.
Also joining the parade of problematic Android apps are ones from Netflix, LinkedIn and Foursquare, all of which were found to store user names and passwords in unencrypted form, according to the Chicago-based security firm viaForensics.
Experts recommend downloading apps only from the official Android market, and reviewing the app developer's name, reviews and star rating as well as checking the permissions each app requests before installing it.