Despite a point of contention over the true nature of these applications, a string of 13 apps have been identified as potential threats on the Android Market.
One of the largest security software makers in the business, Symantec (best known for the Norton security software family) say they’ve identified these applications and relate them to a botnet-like virus called Android.Tonclank.
The applications in question run a type of malware called Android.Counterclank. Botnets spread from a host ‘command’ computer and take control of other device via means of spam messages or in this case, malicious applications.
Symantec already say millions of users could be affected and they consider the damage level to be “medium” with regards to data and identification theft. So far a list of 13 applications have been identified on the Android Market as malicious, with the majority of them being mobile games of some form.
Mobile security firm Lookout Mobile don’t believe these applications pose quite as much of a threat however, they are not to be taken lightly, as a spokesperson explains.
“Some companies are calling this a botnet or malware. Lookout has some concerns about the functionality, however at this time, and as far as we can tell, it does not meet the standard to be classified as malware or a ‘bot. Consumers should take these apps very seriously as they appear to tread on privacy lines, but they are not necessarily malicious.”
The company estimated that last year criminals made around $1 million by exploiting Android devices and say its likely to get worse in 2012. Last year Lookout identified a similar botnet string called Geinimi which originated from China. The malware had the ability to take commands from a remote server, steal information from your device and could potentially infect other connected devices too.
The most likely applications to harbour these technological nasties predominantly come in the form of mobile games or porn/adult applications as demonstrated in the list above.
Source | Via