I hate starting a post with such a negative moniker but facts are facts. There has been an EXPLOSIVE rise in Android malware between June 2010 and January 2011 according to Juniper Network’s Mobile Threat Report. In a nutshell, a 400% increase in Android Malware has been reported on Android devices like phones and tablets. Granted, a majority of the malware came from “pirated” versions of legitimate android software. See, there is an official Android Market and there are “third party” android markets. The third party market may offer “free” versions of the same “paid” apps on the official android market.
To me this is nothing more then the evolution of Limewire. While in no way affiliated with Limewire, the premise is the same: pirated software for no charge. What happens is the app is taken from the official market, ripped apart and then re-assembled with malicious code in it. The “trojanized” app is then put on the third party market where people looking to save a buck, literally in some cases, can get it.
Android Market under attack (DroidDream)
In the past, apps on the official Android Market have been infected with a nasty malware called DroidDream. Apps for sale had malicious code written in them that would root a user’s device, allowing access to the most senisitive data on the device and then sending it to a server in California. The DroidDream was a nightmare for Google as they had to throw the Kill Switch in the app market. The Kill Switch has the ability to reach into your device and remove the malicious software or any software Google deems bad…
How Do I Protect My Data?
- Get antivirus for your Android Device. Go here for a list.
- Only download apps from the official app store. On most devices it’s called Market and was already installed when you first bought the device. You can also go to https://market.android.com. Amazon’s App Store is not the official Google App Store..
- Only get apps that you really need. This reduces exposure and probably saves you from wasting time with pointless games