They weren’t mobile banking apps, but Google’s removal of a reported more than 50 infected applications from its Android Market might be a sign of things to come.
The reported 58 applications were removed from the Android Market and the company then used its remote application removal feature to remove the infected apps from users’ phones.
“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,” Android security lead Rich Cannings said in the Saturday night announcement on his blog.
The Android Market allows app developers to upload their own software, which in this case included malware that could allow hackers to identify individual mobile devices and “given the nature of the exploits, the attacker(s) could access other data,” Cannings’ blog said.
A software update also will be sent to users’ phones to address the problem, Google said. The company did not announce how many times the infected apps were downloaded. PC Magazine estimated it at more than 50,000 times and published a list of 21 of them.