When they gather momentum, desktop and mobile platforms attract the attention of malware authors, keen to visit exploits on growing user bases.
Some fifty apps were apparently loaded up with malicious code which allowed the malware author to gain root access to the phone, in order to pull off any data they liked, or introduce new programs to the handset.
Google has now pulled the apps in question, but not before they’ve been downloaded up to 200,000 times.
Some of the apps were cracked versions of legitimate apps which simply had the malware code added.
At least the exploit in question doesn’t function on Gingerbread handsets, so those who are up to date with Google’s OS can’t have been victims.
The Inquirer reports that Google has triggered its remote kill switch to whip the offending apps off any Android handsets which have downloaded them. However, it isn’t clear if anything can be done about other malicious code which might have been introduced through the back-door while phones were infected.