Jan. 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM ET
Android malware has infected possibly one to five million downloads — "the highest distribution of any malware identified so far this year," a major security company reports.
As posted on its blog, Norton by Symantec identified 13 apps on the Android Market that are all hiding Android. Counterclank, a Trojan horse that steals information, and could also download more files and display ads on the device.
The combined total downloads of those apps could be as high as five million. These are the apps, which are mostly games that appeal to those who like guns and girls (some of them are more risque than others):
Some of these apps are still available on the Android Market, so consider yourself warned if you still want to download anyway.
As shown in 2011, when McAfee research pinned Android as "the most 'popular' platform for new malware" by the third quarter, Google's mobile operating system and Android Market continue to be irresistible to malware. Lookout Mobile Security's "Malwarenomics: 2012 Mobile Malware Predictions" report found that for U.S. Android users, the likelihood of clicking on an unsafe link is 40 percent.
With downloads from Android Market reaching 10 billion in December, we're likely to see more malware slipping through, and more need for increased vigilance and discretion when choosing apps.