Reports from Internet security firm Symantec have revealed a massive botnet scam that has lured millions of unsuspecting Android users into downloading malware-infected apps from the Android Market.
The Trojan, named "Android.Counterclank" by Symantec, is a modified version of "Android.Tonclan" and is believed to be wrapped into at least 13 free games from three different developers on the official Google app Web site.
The malicious code has been grafted on to the main application, in each instance, in a package called "apperhand". When the package is executed, a service with the same name may be seen running on a compromised device. Another sign of an infection is the presence of the "Search" icon above on the home screen.
The list of affected apps is given below:
From iApps7 Inc:
Counter Elite Force
Counter Strike Ground Force
CounterStrike Hit Enemy
Heart Live Wallpaper
Hit Counter Terrorist
Stripper Touch Girl
From Ogre Games:
Pretty women lingerie puzzle
Sexy Girls Photo Game
Sexy Girls Puzzle
Sexy Women Puzzle
Meanwhile, Irfan Asrar, a researcher at Symantec, believes "Counterclank" can pursue commands received from a remote server and is also capable of stealing information from, as well as displaying ads on, infected Android handsets.
According to Symantec, "Counterclank" is one of the more widespread Android malwares identified till date. The lack of adequate security measures and escalating malware intrusion incidents have constantly plagued Google's official app site in recent times.
So far, Google's attempts at cleaning their market seem to be passive ones. Unless the Internet search engine giant takes drastic steps to counter the menace, the Android operating system could lose its sheen.
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