Google has yet again removed some malware applications from its Android Marketplace. Some of these malware seemed to be exploiting the popularity of Angry Birds mobile game and were discovered by Xuxian Jiang, an assistant professor at NC State University’s Department of Computer Science.
He said in a statement, “While continuing an Android-related research project after the discovery of the DroidKungFu and YZHCSMS malware, my research team also came across a new stealthy Android spyware in the Official Android Market. This spyware does not attempt to root Android phones but instead is designed to be stealthy by running the payload under the radar. In fact, Plankton is the first one that we are aware of that exploits Dalvik class loading capability to stay stealthy and dynamically extend its own functionality.”
There were at least 10 such apps which came from three developers, he said. The apps managed to survive in the market for about two months because of their stealthy nature and their use of names that used Angry Birds’ popularity. Some of the names were – Angry Birds Rio Unlocker v1.0, Angry Birds Multi User v1.00 or Angry Birds Cheater Trainer Helper V2.0.
So how the users can ensure they don’t get entrapped by malicious apps?
Usually, malicious applications sound too good to be true; they do not promise too much nor they ask for unnecessary permissions.
Google had remotely removed some apps in early March also. It seems, as a policy, Google does not monitor the apps in the Android Market, and it responds only to complaints by others.