With the number of apps for Android growing each day, people are at increased risk of downloading malware that may damage the phone or worse still, steal your data from the phone. This article takes a look at some of the most recent Android malware apps (as on July 25, 2012). We will discuss three in detail while providing you with a list of known Android malware apps in the last section of the article.
Known Android Malware #1 – Battery Saver App
The malware app tries to cash in on the poor battery life of most Android phones. Once the user installs it on his phone, it steals data from the phone’s contact list. The name itself is tempting as it conveys that installing the app will somehow optimize phone battery so that you get to use the phone for a longer time. Anyone would have fallen for it – but for Symantec that reported the app as Android malware.
Symantec calls it Android.Ackposts. According to Symantec, “Android.Ackposts is a Trojan horse for Android devices that steals the contact information from the compromised device and sends it to predetermined location. The Trojan may arrive as a package with the following name: BatteryLong.Apk”.
Unlike many other malware that spread from app stores or Google Play, this one is spread using links in what looks like a Chinese email claiming to offer you an app that increases your phone’s battery life. Once downloaded, instead of working on the battery, the Battery Saver App makes a copy of everything in your phonebook and sends it to some unknown location.
Known Android Malware #2 – Fake Skype
Trying to cash in on the popularity that surrounds Skype, this malware is actually a Java code that sends international messages to make money for their creators. It is easy to detect this malware though. Instead of using the standard .apk file, this malware uses .jar, (a Java MIDlet file). Thus, there is constraint when installing this Android malware – it would install only on phones capable of running java MIDlet files.
The reason why this Fake Skype app can easily pass off as the original is that Android lets you install software from anywhere on the Internet. Other reasons include its close resemblance with Skype. You should take care when going for Android apps and make sure you are downloading the original. The original Skype App for Android is available in Google Play.
Known Android Malware #3 – Super Mario On Google Play
This might shock you. Google Play is considered an official place to download genuine apps. No one can think that Google Play can host malware apps for Android devices. There are many apps related to games such as Super Mario and GTA that Symantec has found to be malicious. While such apps look like wallpaper apps, they install additional app that sends out expensive, international messages to generate revenue for its developers.
Symantec pointed out the malware to Google which apparently did some cleaning but F-Secure says there are many such applications still lying at the marketplace. While it is the job of Google to check out that the apps in Google Play are malware free, you too should exercise extreme caution while downloading apps.
List of Other Known Android Malware
- Falling Down
- Super Guitar Solo
- Super History Eraser
- Photo Editor
- Super Ringtone Maker
- Super Sex Positions
- Hot Sexy Videos
- Hilton Sex Sound
- Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
- Falling Ball Dodge
- Scientific Calculator
- Dice Roller
- Advanced Currency Converter
- APP Uninstaller
- Funny Paint
- Spider Man
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of malware apps for Android phones. There may be many more malware inflicted applications available on the Internet – including Google Play and other popular marketplaces. The best you can do is to be very selective when downloading apps for your device. I would also recommend you to go through user reviews to know if it is a valid Android app. Reviews are easily available on the Internet when you search using “review+APP_NAME” keyword (replace APP_NAME with name of app). If you still doubt the application, better leave it for good.
List Courtesy: Android Police.