Virus detection and security group Symantec has today reported that a bug by the name of Android.Counterclank has infected between 1 million and 5 million Android users as of this afternoon. This bit of software sits on a handful of easily downloadable applications available on the Android Market as of late today and each has been downloaded several hundred times at least, with some ranging in the thousands. This Android.Counterclank has the highest distribution of any malware identified inside 2012 and may well be the largest infection on Android in its short history.
Symantec urges users to take a look at the list they’ve got of applications which hold the infected files on them. If you see an application that you’ve downloaded recently on the list, uninstall it and/or reboot your device entirely back to stock. The trojan in this attack is but a minor modification of what’s been know up until now as Android.Tonclank, an application which can receive commands without your knowledge and carry out commands as well as steal sensitive information from your device. Smartphone users are urged to take action on this bit of malware immediately.
If you believe you have an infected application that is not on the list, you can check by seeing if there appears to be two instances of said app running at once when you open it. Another way is to notice a Search icon above your home screen when there should be no such icon. Have a peek at the list of infected applications here and report to Symantec if you believe you’ve detected any additional apps with this same trojan aboard.