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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