March 07, 2011, 12:52 PM — Google recently began remote wiping Android devices infected with malware after discovering more than 50 malicious applications in the official Android Market.
[ See also: After attacks, Google vows to fortify Android Market ]
Called DroidDream the malware gained root access to devices running Android 2.2.1 (Froyo) and older to access sensitive information such as a device's unique identifying numbers--International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI)-- as well as the device's language, phone model and, in some cases, UserID.
If something has root access to your device, it means the software could potentially take control of the entire device and any data stored on it.
Mobile security firm Lookout isn't sure what DroidDream was designed to do once it gained access to your phone, but the company said the possibilities were "limitless." DroidDream had been discovered in third-party app stores before, but this was the first time it had popped up in the official Android Market.
With Google starting to remove the malware from infected devices and promising to beef up security for the Android Market, it appears the DroidDream threat will be limited. Nevertheless, if you've got an Android device and are worried you might be infected, here's what you need to know.
Which applications were loaded with DroidDream?
The more than 50 malware-laden apps in the Android Market included software created by three developers: Kingmall2010, we20090202, and Myournet. Malicious titles included Super Guitar Solo, Hot Sexy Videos, Super Stopwatch & Timer, Bubble Shoot, and Quick Delete Contacts. You can find a complete list of infected apps on Lookout's blog.
Have the malicious apps been removed from the Android Market?
Google said late Tuesday that all DroidDream-infected apps were removed from the Market.
I am infected. When can I expect Google to wipe the apps?