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NQ Mobile: You May Not Like It But Counterclank Is Not Malware

Two weeks ago the Android world was up and arms with a report that over 5 million Android devices were infected with some kind of Malware.  The Malware we thought was infecting our Android phones was called Counterclank.

As it turns out Counterclank is just an aggressive advertising network, but not actually Malware. The folks at NQ Mobile clarified that to thedroidguy directly:

The app is not considered malware because it uses a legitimate SDK enabled techniques used by a number of other applications and is, at some level, agreed to by the end user. The controversial part is that in this instance it is behaving in an a way that is aggressive and may not be intended by the end user. As a result, it may lead to reduced customer satisfaction and/or annoyance.

In regards to “Counterclank” or more precisely, the underlying “Apperhand” SDK embedded in the app, did not perform any malicious behavior, such as trojan horses, bots, or rootkits. But it did aggressively push ads or even updated the browser’s bookmarks, but such update is “approved” by the user when the app is being installed.

Note that malware is a generic term that broadly represents existing malicious software which is introduced to a device without the user’s knowledge. We have seen many kinds of malware, such as Trojan horse, virus, worm, bot, and rootkit. With the adoption of new technology, the malware threat will continue to evolve. In the mobile space, it will reflect new methods or ways mobile malware uses to infect vulnerable devices or propagate itself.

At NQ Mobile, our scientists and engineers are actively monitoring any new mobile threats and will continue detect these and protect subscribers from new threats.

So there you have it!

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