Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Malware in Android Market

Every day, we see more reports about malware in the Android Market. This time three developers known as MYOURNET, Kingmall2010, and we20090202, possibly the same person, were offering a number of Android apps for free download.

Many, if not all of the apps, were trojanized copies of legitimate apps from other developers.

I downloaded one app in particular called Super Guitar Solo. Upon reviewing the app, Its been found that, it contains the popular “rage against the cage” root exploit commonly used to “root” Android phones and gain superuser privileges. As any Linux guru will tell you, once you have superuser rights, you have full, administrator level access to the phone’s operating system. In this case the exploit is launched without the owner’s consent.

So what is the purpose of this Trojan? The application will attempt to gather product ID, device type, language, country, and userID among other things, and then upload them to a remote server. Unlike most of the other samples seen so far, there is no attempt at sending or receiving premium rate SMS messages.

This discovery is important because up until now most of the Android malware has been found outside of the Android Market, which requires a number of special steps to be taken in order to infect the phones. In this case, users are even able to install from the web with the new Android Market format.

UPDATE: Google has now removed the malicious apps and the corresponding download page from the Android Market.

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