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Win a Windows 7 Phone For Having the Worst Malware?

Recently, Google has removed 22 malware infected applications from its Android Market.  The apps in question, spotted by security firm Lookout, mainly targeted Android smartphone users across Europe and included premium SMS fraud services that cost users money.

The main culprit was called RuFraud and affected users all throughout Europe.  The malware didnt’ make it across seas to the U.S.

This latest malware scare has caused Microsoft’s Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph to make an offer through Twitter to Android users who have been affected by this malware.

On Monday Rudolph tweeted, “More malware on Android! Been hit? Share yr #droidrage story to win a #windowsphone upgrade. 5 best (worst?) win!” and later “Been nailed with Android malware and have #Droidrage? Share [your] story with me … you might win an upgrade to a #windowsphone!”

People have been sending in their stories all day.  Time to send in yours!

Google Removes Selected Apps From Android Market

Earlier this week, Google removed 22 fraudulent apps from the Android Market that supposedly unknowingly charged users who downloaded them on their devices.  These apps seemed harmless to many functioning as games or even just wallpaper apps.

Apparently, these forecasts and other apps have been ploys for criminals to lure consumers into clicking on options that led to premium charges tied to SMS usage.

Lookout Mobile Security posted about RuFraud on its website, which appeared in batches of horoscope, wallpaper and game apps that used pop culture appeal in conjuring Angry Birds and “Twilight.”

Google moved quickly in order to remove these apps from the market.  However, more of them have appeared over the weekend taking the place of “free versions” of popuular games.

Lookout stated that they have estimated around 14,000 downloads for all of these apps (mostly in Europe) so if you are part of that group, remove the app ASAP.

Spot Android Malware

As a follow up on a recent post, this post is to help all of you Android users to spot/notice if you have a trojan virus on your smartphone.  Android malware is on the rise and it is now two times as likely to receive a virus in a app you download since six months ago.  This is a quick list of ways to tell if your Android smartphone is infected.

  1. Look up the developer – If there is no real logo, Google the developer’s name to see if they are a legitimate company.
  2. Be wary of “knock off” games – Games are a typical “trap” that is used be malware creators.  If the game is a free version of something that you normally would havle to pay for, be wary.
  3. Examine app permissions – Every app in the marketplace has a list of admissions that you need to grant in order for the app to work properly.  Read over this list and if you notice anything suspicious, don’t download it. (Ex: why would a game need to see your contact list).
  4. Read reviews – This is an obvious way to see if the app is malware.  If the particular app has more negative than positive reviews, be wary and read further to see what the negative reviews were about.
  5. Watch Info – If while reading the app description and you notice that the creator doesn’t use good grammer/english or some information is left blank, that is a good sign to not download the app.

Follow this short list of things to check before downloading an app and your chances of catching some mobile malware will decrease significantly.