Smartphone malware is still uncommon -- at least here in the United States -- but every now and then comes a fresh reminder that the threat is real. According to Lookout Mobile Security, a new Trojan is making the rounds in various alternative app markets in China, and it's being distributed through repackaged versions of other apps.
The Trojan, known as HongTouTou, appears in repackaged versions of various Android apps, including modified versions games such as RoboDefense, as well as various wallpaper apps. According to Lookout, the company's researchers "have identified fourteen separate instances of the HongTouTou Trojan."
As Lookout notes, you would have to enable sideloading on your Android phone (which allows you to install apps distributed through unofficial app markets) to be affected by this particular Trojan.
Lookout suggests some ways to keep your phone safe, such as sticking to software on "official" app markets and keeping an eye on the permission requests for apps: If a wallpaper app is requesting to use a feature of your phone that a wallpaper app logically wouldn't use, you should question it.
Read the Lookout blog post for full details.
This isn't the first Android Trojan, and it certainly won't be the last, so be just as paranoid about what you install on your phone as you would be with what you install on your PC.