Android malware ‘BadNews’ hits around nine million devices


Android has always been targeted more frequently with malware and spyware and is currently raking up a huge amount of problems. Google is expected to start using better algorithms and tighter security to make sure all apps are clean.

BadNews has been added to 32 Android apps and is malicious malware – the 32 apps didn’t come with malware, as Google would have detected and denied the app, instead the developers added the malware on later updates.

The malware got in through an update process, where the update would happen with attached malware. Google is apparently incapable of noticing malware on the updates, although we hope they fix this problem.

While the apps aren’t the most popular, they have successful gained about nine million downloads on the Google Play store. We are not sure how many people update or have kept the apps since then, so the number of people effected should be slightly lower.

Apps containing BadNews send information back to an unknown server, with sensitive information about handset phone and serial numbers. All 32 apps have already been pulled by Google and the malware should be destroyed from the phone.

Affected apps include English and Russian-language games, dictionaries, wallpapers and made it past Google Bouncer, the algorithm and malware hunter installed on the Google Play store to hunt for malicious content.

There are still many weaknesses in Android and we cannot see the big change happening any time soon, unless Google begins regulating content and reviewing it with strict rules, as Apple does with the iOS Apps Store.

Android Key Lime Pie may address some of these issues regarding security and malware, we suspect with the five year open source project coming to a close, Google will start licensing the operating system to partners.

This may allow Google to regulate content with more stricter rules, to keep malware off the system. For now though, we have to get used to clever hackers cracking Android’s defence.

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