All in all, more than 50 applications got the boot and three accounts were suspended after the discovery. A Reddit user, "Lompolo" is credited with finding the first dodgy apps after he noticed an application was listed under the name of a developer he knew didn't develop it.
The application was exactly the same as the original except for a change of title and of course, the malicious code buried inside it.
He initially found 21 apps but a further investigation by Android Police uncovered 50 in total. Lompolo estimated the rogue applications to have been downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 times.
The virus lurking in the applications is "DroidDream", which immediately would call home to a remote server and send certain information, such as the phone's unique ID number. It checks first whether the handset is already infected and if not, will utilize a bunch of known security flaws in the operating system to infect the handset.
Once infected, code can be installed on the phone remotely and sensitive information can be stolen.
The latest version of Android (Gingerbread) is not vulnerable to the exploits used by the DroidDream malware.
Written by: James Delahunty @ 4 Mar 2011 16:18