Google has finally officially accepted the presence of malware containing apps in Android market and buckled down to sweep them from scenario. Google accepted that 58 apps that contained malicious viruses had made their way to Android Market and till now have affected more than 260000 Android run devices. But this toll is going to be no further increase as Google is leaving no stone unturned in cleaning up.
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Google is all set to launch a specifically called remote kill function. By this remote kill function Google while not bothering user (loser ?) will itself wipe out the malicious apps from the affected device.
A wave of fear is being felt in every person using Android run device whereas Google tries to console them saying that the sole information the attackers have gathered is device’s IMEI number and nothing more. On Google Blog, it informs about its steps to control the situation:
1.We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack.
2.We are remotely removing the malicious applications from affected devices. This remote application removal feature is one of many security controls the Android team can use to help protect you from malicious applications.
3.We are pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undoes the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices.
4.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.
Google is also trying its best to be acquitted saying recent versions (Android versions 2.2.2 or higher) are already resistant to this attack and the entire problem arose due to using old versions. Further suggestions are being provided to keep the similar problems at bay. An email is being sent to every affected Android user quoting as follows:
We recently discovered applications on Android Market that were designed to harm devices. These malicious applications (“malware”) have been removed from Android Market, and the corresponding developer accounts have been closed.
According to our records, you have downloaded one or more of these applications. This malware was designed to allow an unauthorized third-party to access your device without your knowledge. As far as we can determine, the only information obtained was device-specific (IMEI/IMSI, unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running on your device).
However, this malware could leave your device and personal information at risk, so we are pushing an Android Market security update to your device to remove this malware. Over the next few hours, you will receive a notification on your device that says “Android Market Security Tool March 2011” has been installed. You are not required to take any action from there, the update will automatically run. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an application has been removed. Within 24 hours of receiving the update, you will receive a second email confirming its success.
To ensure this update is run quickly, please make sure that your device is turned on and has a strong network connection.
For more details, please visit the Android Market Help Center.
The Android Market Team
We hope the situation soon will be under control.