The Android platform often gets criticized for its openness that unfortunately allows criminals to gain access to users via malicious applications put onto the Android Market. Today we can report to you that Fake Angry Birds apps and other titles have been pulled from the Android Market for containing malware.
According to an article on eWeek a malicious developer managed to clone popular games on the Android market, and re-released them as free games after altering some code. Google has since removed them according to Lookout Security.
The criminals managed to create a number of titles with code to make the handset send SMS messages to premium rate numbers. Users would have been unaware their handset was sending these messages until receiving their bills, which would have been extremely high because of the SMS fees.
There were around thirteen applications available on the Android Market for just over a day before being pulled at the weekend. Even though Google acted quickly a few thousand users seem to have downloaded the malicious apps.
These included fake Angry Birds, Need for Speed: Shift, Cut the Rope, Riptide GP, Great Little War Game, Assassins Creed: Revelations, World of Goo, Shoot The Birds, Talking Tom Cat 2, Talking Larry the Bird, and Bag It. All of the fake games were being offered as free downloads.
Users in the UK, France, Germany, Poland, and Italy are among the countries thought to be affected by the fraudulent applications. Many security experts feel the requirements to become an Android developer and publish apps are too relaxed, and malicious apps will still be a problem until rules are toughened up.
We have reported before that there are a number of free security applications available for smartphones that may stop such malware getting onto your handset. Have you ever downloaded a malicious application?