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Android Cellphones China Handhelds Security IT

Android Botnet Infects 1 Million Plus Phones 92

Posted by timothy
from the click-here-to-download dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "Up to a million Android users in China could be part of a large mobile botnet, according to research unveiled by Kingsoft Security, a Hong Kong-based security company, this week. The botnet has spread across phones running the Android operating system via Android.Troj.mdk, a Trojan that researchers said exists in upwards of 7,000 applications available from non-Google app marketplaces, including the popular Temple Run and Fishing Joy games." Update: 01/19 12:54 GMT by S : Changed summary to reflect that these apps didn't come from Google Play.
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Android Botnet Infects 1 Million Plus Phones

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  • by sjwt (161428) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @06:59AM (#42632875)

    And excellent wording for FUD... after all "up to 1 million aliens *could* be controlling the worlds governments"

  • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @07:00AM (#42632881)

    Thank you! These 7000 plus apps were 3rd party apps that were not downloaded from Google Play.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:27AM (#42633075)

    Doesn't that imply that if Google-Play/Android was a walled garden like iPhone/iTunes this would not have happened?

    Um, no.

    Just because China Mobile's (cr)app store isn't doing its job doesn't mean Google should become as draconian as Apple in this regard. People have a choice, and if they are willing to download from a poorly regulated source, and are willing to endure infections just so they don't have to pay for their apps, that's their business. I certainly hope their data plans are unlimited.

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:35AM (#42633109)

    Actual BBC story:"Trojan had been found in more than 7,000 apps downloaded from _non-Google-owned_ stores."

    It's a bit weird that neither the submitter nor the threatpost author thought it strange that thousands of popular apps on Google Play would include a trojan that has been known about for over a year?

    It's a bit ironic that fAndroids, who have been criticising Apple's walled garden for years, are now criticising other Android users for making full and enthusiastic use of the freedom of the Android platform to download apps from anywhere they damn well please rather than only dealing exclusively with Google owned or Google sanctioned stores. Not to say that walled gardens are a good thing but this discussion is nevertheless quite amusing since it tacitly admits that walled gardens, for all their other faults, are an efficient way to filter out malware. As long as there are other ways to download Android apps than from a walled garden of Google owned or Google sanctioned third party stores things like this will continue to happen.

  • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @08:37AM (#42633117) Homepage

    You did not answer the question about walled gardens. In fact, you gave a hint that the absence of a walled garden *did* exacerbate the problem.

    Probably does. The price of freedom is that people are free to install malware.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @10:04AM (#42633377) Homepage Journal

    Title: 1 Million+
    First line of summary: Up to a million

    Yes, standard /. fare lately. Not only is it meaningless (and thus not nerdy - the details are more important than the big picture to a nerd), but the editors contradict themselves and come across as both careless and ignorant.

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @10:50AM (#42633523)

    The price of Apple's walled garden is that they get to define what is malware. (So far, things like apps to teach children how to program, games that are too 'political', porn, Android magazines, etc). I'll take my chances, thanks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2013 @11:27AM (#42633675)

    Can I as the original commenter take part in this second-guessing of my implied message?

    I did not say "this only happened because the affected Android users did not limit themselves to the Google store" at all as you claim -- pretty bold of you to just say that when my message is clearly visible above... Also, nothing in my post was meant to "imply the criticism that if they had remained in the Google fold their phones would not have been affected" (in fact I don't even have a clear opinion on whether the open model or the Apple 'closed garden' model is better).

    My only criticism was aimed at the shoddy reporting: It included a pretty big factual mistake. Mistakes sometimes happen, but this one made the story so unbelievable that it's hard to understand how both the article author and the submitter failed to apply some common sense and re-check the source.

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