Google yanks 21 malicious apps from Android Market, phones

The apps were free illegal downloads of popular apps in the Android Market

Openness, one of Android's big advantages, can also be the Achilles' heel of the platform. Google has pulled the kill switch on 21 free malware apps from the Android Market and from around 50,000 devices, according to reports. The apps were free illegal downloads of popular apps in the Android Market, repackaged with malware able to steal details from a user's phone.

First discovered by a Reddit user, the apps contained hidden code that could steal information from the phone, according to Android Police . The 21 offending apps were from an Android Market publisher going by the name of Myournet, who repackaged popular free apps from the store with versions with slightly different names in order to deploy the malware. It is estimated the apps raked in around 50,000 downloads in the time they were available.

After notifying Google of the malicious fake apps in the Android Market, Android Police say the company took down the apps in "less than 5 minutes." One of the developers of an original app with a malware equivalent wrote on Reddit that he "noticed the rogue app a bit more than a week ago (I was receiving crash reports sent from the pirated version of the app)."

The developers claims he "notified Google about this through all the channels I could think of: DCMA notice, malicious app reporting, Android Market Help... they have yet to respond. Thankfully this was posted on Reddit, since after the post the rogue dev and all his apps have been removed from the market. There really should be a faster/easier way to get Google to act on it!"

Over at Mashable there's a list of the 21 apps taken down by Google, advising those who have downloaded one of the apps on the list to "take your device to your carrier and exchange it for a new one, since you can't be sure that your device and user information is truly secure."

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleAndroidappssoftwarePhonesconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?