Not one week after the security group known as Symantec announced that they’d discovered the largest malware attack in the history of Android planted firmly in the guts of the official market, they’ve announced that there is no such infection. In fact, the malware the group said it’d found, Android.Counterclank, is actually just an overly-aggressive adware code. This is in accordance with a report put out by rival security group Lookout whom has essentially “told them so” late last month – always double check!
While there are quite a few applications on the market that have the code in question on them at this point, and at least 1 million but up to 5 million users have already downloaded it in one way or another, there’s nothing to fear. As Symantec notes, this software is only capable of doing a few disagreeable things to your Android device instead of a whole lot, the latter being the one that gets a code into the “malware” category. Instead, we’re only talking about the following:
“In general, it’s changing the home page of the [smartphone's] browser, adding additional shortcuts to the desktop, adding and even removing bookmarks. … It took a while for some consensus then about what was adware or spyware, and what wasn’t, but eventually that consensus was reached.” – Kevin Haley of Symantec
Check the timeline below for more information on which applications have the Counterclank software on them, and avoid them if you must – but don’t worry, they’re safe! What’s considered safe now, that’s what’s up for debate. Haley continued:
“We’re going to see app vendors experiment with how to monetize their apps on Android phones, more so on mobile than on the PC, because mobile apps are sold at very inexpensive prices or given away for free. It’s understandable that we’ll see some pushing the boundaries, or even going beyond them.” – Haley