CNET reports Google has remotely removed two free applications from a couple of hundred Android phones because the apps misrepresented their purpose and thus violated the Android developer policies. Both of the deleted programs were proof-of-concept applications designed to test the feasibility of bootstrapping a rootkit to a seemingly innocent Android application.
This marks the first time Google has used the Remote Application Removal Feature that allows the company to delete apps for security reasons that have been installed through Android Market.
The apps were proof-of-concept programs designed to test the feasibility of distributing a program that could later be used to take control of the device in an attack, according to Jon Oberheide, the developer who wrote and distributed them.
The one app--called RootStrap--executed code that merely printed a message on the phone that says "Hello World," while the second app did the exact same thing but was disguised as a preview of the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" movie, he said in an interview with CNET on Friday. There were about 50 downloads of the RootStrap app and 250 to 350 of the Twilight app, though some people later uninstalled them, he said.