Symantec has detected a new Trojan horse called Android.Counterclank, which attaches to applications in the Android Market and may be used to run malicious code on users' smartphones and tablets.
A nasty piece of malware called Android.Counterclank that
Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) said has the highest distribution of any malware this
year to date is making the rounds on Android smartphones and tablet computers.
Symantec counts anywhere from 1 million to 5 million
combined downloads of the malware, spanning 13 different application titles.
is a variant of the Android.Tonclank
Trojan horse. Like Tonclank, Counterclank steals information and may open a back door on Android smartphones and tablets for perpetrators to conduct other malicious actions.
However, Counterclank may also be exploited to download more files and display advertisements on mobile devices.
Android.Counterclank latches on to the main application
in a package known as the "apperhand." When that package is run, a
service with the same name may be seen running on a compromised device.
Users may also determine their device has been infected
by Android.Counterclank if they see this search icon
on the homescreen of their phone or tablet.
To provide users with a heads-up, Symantec has listed all 13 application
publisher titles on the Android Market that are being used to push out
The malicious apps, which range from games to
entertainment apps starring scantily clad women, include Counter Elite Force and
CounterStrike Ground Force from iApps7 Inc., Balloon Game and Wild Man from Ogre
Games, and Sexy Girls Photo Game from redmicapps.
Symantec, no stranger to detecting Android malware, said
in a corporate blog post that it is still investigating the malware and will keep
people apprised of its findings.
Symantec's security team also detected the Android.Fakeneflic
malware, a low-risk Trojan horse that flew under the radar thanks to Netflix's (NASDAQ:NFLX) staggered launch of its mobile application for Android handsets.
Symantec said late last year
that despite the explosion in mobile malware in the last couple years, perpetrators are not yet seeing a lot of financial returns from compromised phones.