Yet another malware has been discovered on Google’s Android operating system, the creatively named DroidKungfu, which steals sensitive data from affected devices.
Researchers at North Carolina State University in the US have identified two infected applications, which are apparently undetectable with most mobile anti-virus software and affect all devices running Android 2.2 (Froyo) and lower.
According to assistant professor Xuxian Jiang and PhD student Yajin Zhou, who uncovered the malicious code, DroidKungfu takes advantage of a hole in the Android security system to establish a backdoor onto the device, enabling hackers to sneak in and steal precious data.
It also turns the device into a bot, allowing attackers to remotely operate it any way they like without the user’s knowledge.
Although the duo doesn’t name the apps affected, they say these are currently only in circulation in Asia, on at least eight third-party Android app stores and forums based in China. However, other apps in the western hemisphere may also be compromised as audits of many other marketplaces have yet to be carried out.
The researchers are currently in talks with leading anti-virus makers to tackle the malware threat. In the meanwhile, users are strongly advised to only download apps from Android Market and sources they trust, and always read the permissions requested by each app they are installing.