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Fake Android security fix is really another trojan

By now most everyone knows that Google has addressed the Droid Dream malware mess in the Android Market, used the kill switch and issued a fix, and is in process of rolling out said fix to all affected users.  But since Android users in general are an impatient lot, some folks have been on the lookout for the files to manually install the fix instead of waiting.

Don't do it.

The folks at F-Secure have found that at least one of the so-called security patch files floating around is really just another trojan.  This is social engineering at it's finest -- use the promise of security to really make things worse.  You can read the gory details of the BgServ.A trojan found in the fake patch at the source link, but the important thing is that you need to wait for Google to push you the fix if you downloaded one of the infected files.  Like every other patch for the OS, whether it's an updated version of Android or something less glamorous like a security fix, only install files from Google's servers.

If you were affected by the malware, you should have received an email from big G, or will soon.  We have the full text of that message after the break, be sure to check that the sender is really Google, and sit tight.  They will get you all patched up. [F-Secure (opens in new tab)] Thanks Mike and Steven!

You are receiving this message to inform you of a critical issue affectingyour Android Market account.Hello,We recently discovered applications on Android Market that were designed toharm devices. These malicious applications ("malware") have been removed fromAndroid Market, and the corresponding developer accounts have been closed.According to our records, you have downloaded one or more of theseapplications. This malware was designed to allow an unauthorized third-partyto access your device without your knowledge. As far as we can determine, theonly information obtained was device-specific (IMEI/IMSI, unique codes whichare used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running onyour device).However, this malware could leave your device and personal information atrisk, so we are pushing an Android Market security update to your device toremove this malware. You will soon be receiving a notification on your devicethat says "Android Market Security Tool March 2011" has been installed. Youare not required to take any action from there, the update will automaticallyrun. You may also receive notification(s) on your device that an applicationhas been removed. Within 24 hours of receiving the update, you will receive asecond email confirming its success.To ensure this update is run quickly, please make sure that your device isturned on and has a strong network connection.For more details, please visit the Android Market Help Center athttp://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=1207928Regards,The Android Market Team©2011 Google, Inc.1600 Amphitheatre ParkwayMountain View, CA  94043Email preferences:  You are receiving this email to notify you of a criticalissue affecting your Android Market account.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

19 Comments
  • Seriously Google needs to get it together, it baffles me that this kind of stuff even made it to the market it the first place...
  • It's Windows 98 all over again
  • So sad...Android is 'officially' Windows for the mobile world. The more stuff like this gets reported, the more appealing and smart Apple's secure 'walled-garden' looks. Google says "do no evil" - but to me, allowing this kind of stuff because they don't want to regulate the market is evil in its own way.
  • Please check your facts before reporting garbage to scare everyone. This malicious app was on a third-party marketplace in China. Not the Android marketplace.
  • Please read the post before commenting.
  • Google's letter is referring to the 50 apps removed from the Android Marketplace a few days ago, not this new malicious app that poses as a Google update. That malicious app was found in a third-party marketplace in China, not the Android marketplace. I've re-read your article several times and it does not mention this.
  • "But since Android users in general are an impatient lot, some folks have been on the lookout for the files to manually install the fix instead of waiting. Don't do it. The folks at F-Secure have found that at least one of the so-called security patch files floating around is really just another trojan. "
  • I am having trouble finding the source link. Where is it on the page? NM, it's before the beginning of the letter.
  • Seems like everyone forgets that this whole issue was patched 4 versions ago and NONE of the manufacturers have updated their devices to address it. If they had, the only news here is that some apps were 500k bigger than they should have been.
  • Just flash a new rom and u r good to go
  • Actually, the open market is doing it's job. If you downloaded one of those dumb apps then you deserve a virus and if you went to some chinese site for a fix when Google issued their own that is very easy to download right on the market then you deserve an iphone.
  • It's not doing its 'job'. The original problem was from apps IN the Market, thus the whole removal procedure by Google.
  • lol suckers really are suckers... don't worry someone will release a fake patch to fix that fix patch lol..
  • Come on folks. The big boy on the block is also the biggest target. You have to take security into your own hands. If you need big brother to do it for you, I suggest you get off the internet. Educate yourself, and wipe often.
  • If they can get the IMEI codes, why couldn't some of this code be put to good use? Like locating mt stolen phone. I'm for sure gOOgle knows who has my phone. Just a thought.
  • Not sure why the spam filter was applied to afore post?
  • Whats up with android central comments? Does any one realize that the names of who is commenting is all shifted in one direction?
  • What else is now, Android is now turning to malware central.
  • I'm an iOS user considering an Android Device. I've got to admit, I'm scared off for the time being. Considering that I have bank accounts, PayPal, eBay and tons of personal information on my iPhone, I WANT my smartphone to be uber secure. At the end of the day if I don't feel safe using all the functionality I pay for, why have the smart phone and pay for the expensive data plan? While I'm not saying Apple's way is the only way to have a secure smartphone, there has to be some effective means of securing user data in order for any platform to be viable.