Google is using a remote application removal feature to wipe malicious Android apps from phones affected by a spate of rogue apps that attempt to secretly steal users data.
When Google discovered 21 malicious apps in the Android Market on March 1st it acted immediately in removing the offending apps, suspending the associated developer accounts, and contacting law enforcement. More such data-siphoning apps were discovered later in the week and swiftly pulled from the app store. However, this still left the problem that Android users had already downloaded apps capable of stealing users data.
Now it has emerged in a post on the Google Mobile Blog by Rich Cannings, Android Security Lead that Google is using a remote application removal feature to wipe the bad apps from affected phones. The Android Market Security Tool 2011, that undoes the exploits and prevents attackers from accessing any more information, is being automatically pushed to devices. Users aren't required to take any action and will receive information via multiple emails.
Google also says it's taking steps to prevent similar problems in the future. It recently acquired security firm Zynamics, which could help it close these kinds of security holes.
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