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Google uses kill switch to remove Android malware

Posted on Sunday, March 06 2011 @ 21:43:49 CET by


Google announced on its Mobile Blog that it has used Android's built-in kill switch to remotely wipe the recently discovered 58 Android malware apps. These applications took advantage of known vulnerabilities which don't affect Android 2.2.2 or higher, but Google believes attackers were likely only able to capture device-specific data like IMEI/IMSI, unique codes used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running on your device.

Google says it has taken the following steps to protect Android users:
1. We removed the malicious applications from Android Market, suspended the associated developer accounts, and contacted law enforcement about the attack.

2. We are remotely removing the malicious applications from affected devices. This remote application removal feature is one of many security controls the Android team can use to help protect users from malicious applications.

3. We are pushing an Android Market security update to all affected devices that undoes the exploits to prevent the attacker(s) from accessing any more information from affected devices. If your device has been affected, you will receive an email from android-market-support@google.com over the next 72 hours. You will also receive a notification on your device that “Android Market Security Tool March 2011” has been installed. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an application has been removed. You are not required to take any action from there; the update will automatically undo the exploit. Within 24 hours of the exploit being undone, you will receive a second email.

4. We are adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market and are working with our partners to provide the fix for the underlying security issues.



 



 

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