11:16 AM

Android Infected? Microsoft Offers WP7 Giveaway

Contest will award free Windows Phone 7 smartphones to five Android owners with the worst malware horror stories.

10 Worst Android Apps
10 Worst Android Apps
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google recently removed 22 applications from the Android Market on suspicion of being malware. The apps in question, spotted by security firm Lookout, mainly targeted Android smartphone users across Europe and included premium SMS fraud services that cost users money.

The main culprit was called RuFraud and affected users in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Czech Republic, Poland, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Estonia, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, France, and Germany. The malware didn't jump across the Atlantic to affect North American users.

"The initial batch appeared as horoscope apps with a fairly hidden ToS [terms of service] indicating charges," explained Lookout in a blog post. "The initial application activity presents the user with a single option to continue, which is presumed to be an agreement to premium charges that are buried within layers of less than clear links."

Other malware apps were skinned to look like innocuous games, purported to be downloaders for apps such as the ever-popular Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Lookout said that Google was quick to respond to the notifications and has since removed 22 apps, which were fortunately only downloaded by a few people.

[ Learn more about the bad apps. Read Google Boots Fraudware Apps From Android Market. ]

This latest malware scare has led Microsoft's Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph to make an interesting offer through Twitter to Android smartphone users who have run afoul of malware.

On Monday Rudolph tweeted, "More malware on Android! Been hit? Share yr #droidrage story to win a #windowsphone upgrade. 5 best (worst?) win!" and later "Been nailed with Android malware and have #Droidrage? Share [your] story with me ... you might win an upgrade to a #windowsphone!"

Rudolph then fielded responses all day Monday, as users submitted their Android malware stories in hopes of winning one of the five free Windows Phone devices.

(I hope the irony is obvious to everyone here: Microsoft handing out free hardware for infected devices? C'mon, that's golden.)

One user responded: "(shamefully admitting) I fell for the Cut the Rope SMS exploit, they got me for $352.26. #droidrage #windowsphone #androidsucks."

Another said: "I've had to flash my Android phone twice because of malware. Not to mention the fragmentation issues + battery life."

Last: "Personal info compromised twice from malware. #windowsphone looks too beautiful for hackers to dare lay a finger on. #droidrage"

Rudolph later closed the entries and has yet to announce any winners of the new Windows Phone devices.

Considering the number of responses, plenty of Android device users have fallen prey to malware. Be careful what you download, people!

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User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2011 | 3:32:18 PM
re: Android Infected? Microsoft Offers WP7 Giveaway
Microsoft can afford to give away only five phones?
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2011 | 1:37:30 AM
re: Android Infected? Microsoft Offers WP7 Giveaway
Must be nice to still have your phone because I have to use my husbands since I got the crud on my least yours is still working. Isad :(
User Rank: Apprentice
12/15/2011 | 9:10:51 PM
re: Android Infected? Microsoft Offers WP7 Giveaway
Uh Yea I totally got some spyware on my S2 today... STUPID
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