March 6, 2011

Android Market Security Update for all affected devices


android market warning

On Tuesday, Google hit a bit of a rough patch, when it was learned that a large number of malware-infected apps were being sold by publisher Myournet on Android Market. The publisher and its products were quickly removed, but the damage had already been done: the 58 removed apps were downloaded roughly 260,000 times before they went away.

In response to the recent Android Market exploit, Google  says "The applications took advantage of known vulnerabilities which don’t affect Android versions 2.2.2 or higher. For affected devices, we believe that the only information the attacker(s) were able to gather was device-specific (IMEI/IMSI, unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running on your device)"

Google says they've taken a number of steps to protect those who downloaded a malicious app:

    • We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack.
    • We are remotely removing the malicious applications from affected devices. This remote application removal feature is one of many security controls the Android team can use to help protect users from malicious applications.
    • We are pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undoes the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices. If your device has been affected, you will receive an email from [email protected] over the next 72 hours. You will also receive a notification on your device that “Android Market Security Tool March 2011” has been installed. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an application has been removed. You are not required to take any action from there; the update will automatically undo the exploit. Within 24 hours of the exploit being undone, you will receive a second email.
    • 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.

[Google Mobile Blog]

 

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