Apple’s App Store has lots of detractors who don’t like the restictions Apple place on developers and Apple has been forced to withdrawn GPL licensed applications due to claims that the App Store limits the freedom of users. However, one great thing about Apple’s control structure is that it is harder for malware infected apps to find their way into the store. This is not so with Google’s Android Market (which has less control systems) or with the dozens of unregulated Android application stores that exist today.
But the Android Malware scene isn’t just about low risk trojans, androidpolice.com have discovered an Android Market publisher who took 21 popular free apps, injected them with root exploits and then republished them. Between them these infected apps had over 50,000 downloads over four days.
Once alerted to this situation, Google removed some 50 applications from the official Andoird Market and suspended the three accounts being used by the developer behind the apps.
When installing Android apps, always check what permissions the applications requires and if you spot extra permissions like “allow application to read (but not write) the user’s browsing history and bookmarks” or “allow application to read SMS messages” then proceed with caution.