Computer security firm Symantec has said that hackers had modified a Google’s security tool and repackaged it to contain the malware to affect the Android platform.
Symantec said that it found the repackaged version of the Google’s malware-removal tool, Android Market Security Tool, on China-based, 3rd-party markets which are not authorized by the Web search firm.
Speaking on the topic, Symantec's Security Response unit’s engineering director Joe Chen said, “What we're seeing is fairly clever malware writers riding the wake of the wave of the publicity from the malware removal tool.”
The malware-infecting apps on the Android platform had recently forced Google to remove as many as fifty-eight apps from its Android Marketplace. Once downloaded, the malicious apps used to secretly install malware on the Android-based smartphones in order to steal users’ personal information like handset’s unique IMEI number.
The malicious apps also used to exploit security holes to install a backdoor app so that further installation of pirated software could be made possible.
Experts warn that Google's open approach to Android OS makes it available to anybody who wants to customize it. It leaves the technology more exposed to hackers than a firmly controlled proprietary system like that of Apple's iOS.
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