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Malicious apps stole information from Android users

Sections: Gaming News, Handhelds, Handhelds-Other, Smartphones

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Android logo Windows Phone 7 isn’t the only operating system with its share of problems. Google recently had to remove unidentified applications from the official Android Market that were collecting user data. Google insists the hackers weren’t able to collect anything other than “unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices” and information that tells which version of Android the affected device was running. Android devices running Android 2.2.2 weren’t affected, but Google has taken measures to protect devices that are running previous versions of Android.

One of the things Google has done is remove the compromising apps from the Android Market. This is the first step in ensuring that no other device can become vulnerable. In order to protect anyone who downloaded the malicious apps, Google is remotely deleting them from devices. Google has used this method before, but it’s only done on rare occasions. Users will be sent a notice telling them that the application has been removed.

Furthermore, Google is rolling out a security patch to any device that was attacked. The update, which is called Android Market Security Tool March 2011, will fix anything the hacker could use to collect information.

It’s a scary fact that smartphones have become just as vulnerable to attack as computers. I suppose this makes sense because smartphones are acquiring more computer-like functions all the time. The Motorola Atrix 4G even has a $500 laptop dock accessory for crying out loud.

It may not be possible to protect yourself from every potential attack, but it’s always a good idea to read what information applications are requesting access to. It’s not going to say it’ll steal from you, but you should still look closely anyway.

Via [Google Mobile Blog]

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