Sophos Naked Security alerted us to two Android apps that are included in the Google Play Store as legitimate apps. This makes these apps particularly dangerous, if you are following our advice to only install apps from legitimate sources. Once installed, they download a plug-in that harvests your text messages and sends them to a web server. Since the plug-in is downloaded after installation from another source, the developers managed to evade the usual software checks at Google. Sophos is working with Google to have these apps removed from the store.
One app is for “App Play Store”, and the other is for “Skin Care Magazine”. If you have installed these apps, it would be best to remove them from your phone.
Many apps as for a variety of permissions when you install them. You may want to ask yourself what some of the permissions are used for. Why does a game need my location information, for instance? It is possible to un-check permissions before installation.
This is another reminder that smartphones need security too. Most anti-malware companies that make computer security software also have apps fro the Android and iPhone markets, including the free Sophos Mobile Security for Android. If you are unprotected, install one of these now!