Hackers infect Android apps, steal 10 million pieces of personal info

Intial reports said that about 90,000 smartphones users were infected with a virus lurking in applications they downloaded, But later they found that developers stole more than 10 million pieces of personal information from users mobile.

Android is just so awesome, being all open and such.



  • Steven Fisher

    This is all a natural (even expected) consequences of having the concept of an open platform be the product instead of the product being the product.

  • Canucker

    Microsoft blamed the significant burden of dealing with malware and viruses on the delays in moving Windows forward (from XP onwards). They invested significant resources into the problem, initially to minimal effect. Android 4.2 has “real-time” scanning of side-loaded applications to try to address the malware issue, but this will be a cat and mouse game.

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    You know what else is open (in regards to app installs)? OS X and Windows. Both have the same option of installing bad apps. This isn’t new territory.

    • rattyuk

      And yet OSX has had very little in the way of actual attacks. Strange that. Must be because it has so little market share. /s

      • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

        That used to be the case but now that OS X has picked up in market share we just got hit with a major virus.

        Also, for the record, “very little” viruses on OS X has nothing to do with Apple building in protection because it is wide open.

        • kibbles

          what? what major “virus” hit OS X? none. malware aren’t viruses.

          please list us any true viruses found in the wild on OS X.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Lol. Ok. By that measure android has 0 viruses, just malware. :-D

          • Kriztyan

            Sure, but comparing a desktop OS, one that now has a vetted App store to a mobile OS that has been wide open to attacks since it’s inception, seems to try to prop up a straw man argument. A rationalization. In this regard iOS is a world apart from Android, and due to the very nature of the very deferent business models, it’s seems Android will never be as good as iOS as far as security goes. No matter what happens on the desktop OS arena.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Not a rationalization but a realization of this being old news. It is yet another metric to tout iOS as “winning” but is old news for traditional OSes where you can control it and it not hold your hand.

            As for Androids future, see 4.2 where it verifies apps now but is still allowing “side loaded” apps.

          • rattyuk

            “As for Androids future, see 4.2 where it verifies apps now but is still allowing “side loaded” apps.”

            I would do but my five week old “official” Nexus 7 doesn’t have that version of the OS yet…

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Patience. It’ll get it shortly.

          • kibbles

            im not talking abut mobile, im talking about OS X — you suggested it didnt have any viruses due to market share but was hit recently. i said thats false. still no viruses. and its not market share, because Mac OS used to have actual viruses pre-X.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            I was saying early on hackers/virus creators were not targeting Mac (even pre-OSX) due to the limited reach.

            I wasn’t saying Mac was virus free either, never has been, rather it wasn’t targeted as much as Windows. OSX definitely has had viruses.

        • rattyuk

          Wrong. Maybe a few Trojans where the user is the problem but no self-replicating viruses.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Alright so the user is the problem with these Android “viruses” so does that rationalization count there? You have to go through several steps to install a side loaded app, it isn’t automatic. User problem?

          • Kriztyan

            User problem or OS problem, still a problem, right? Problem that is not present on iOS. See my point now?

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            So a “virus” infected 90k phones yet iOS gave away millions of users personal address books, meaning: (millions)*(# of pieces of info per person in address book) = (more than supposed Android virus linked to).

            “As things stand today, any one of the over half a million iOS apps currently in the market can access your address book without your knowledge or permission.” http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/14/2798008/ios-apps-and-the-address-book-what-you-need-to-know

            Bottom line: pick and choose all you want for ways to knock Android but iOS is not immune to similar problems. Either way you slice it, it is bad and shouldn’t be allowed. Android 4.2 is set to resolve this matter without a walled garden; 4.2′s ability is yet to be seen as a success or not.

    • lucascott

      Which might be a valid point if this article was about desktop OSes but it is not. It is about mobile and about how Android fanboys would have everyone using a system that is much easier to hit with malware because of the whole ‘open’ issue.

      • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

        You’re making my point. No matter whether it is mobile or not, malware is not new to users or OSes. Why it is such a big deal now is solely because of the “hate” iOS diehards have for Android.

        iOS has better prevention of it, yes, but it is not immune to issues.