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Android Malware May Have Infected 5 Million Users

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the there-aren't-enough-whips-in-the-world dept.

Android 280

bonch writes "A massive Android malware campaign may be responsible for duping as many as 5 million users into downloading the Android.Counterclan infection from the Google Android Market. The trojan collects the user's personal information, modifies the home page, and displays unwanted advertisements. It is packaged in 13 different applications, some of which have been on the store for at least a month. Several of the malicious apps are still available on the Android Market as of 3 P.M. ET. Symantec has posted the full list of infected applications."

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Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848023)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org] has been posting anonymous accusations [slashdot.org] listing a whole bunch of Slashdot accounts as being part of a marketing campaign for Microsoft, without any evidence.

GreatBunzinni has accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as this anonymous poster. Here, he writes the same post almost verbatim, first using his logged-in account [slashdot.org] and then in an anonymous post [slashdot.org] submitted days later. Note the use of the exact same terminology and phrasing in both posts.

Half the accounts he attacks don't even post pro-Microsoft rhetoric. The one thing they appear to have in common is that they have been critical of Google in the past. GreatBunzinni has been using multiple accounts to post these "shill" accusations, such as Galestar [slashdot.org] , NicknameOne [slashdot.org] , and flurp [slashdot.org] .

That's not the problem. The problem is that moderators gave him +5 Informative and are now modding down the accused, even for legitimate posts. Metamoderation is supposed to address this by filtering out the bad moderators, but clearly it's not working.

This "shill" crap that has been flying around lately has to stop. It's restricting a variety of viewpoints from participating on the site and creating an echo chamber.

Re:Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848099)

Crashing your own article discussions now, eh bonch?

Re:Organized trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848187)

Epic lulz

iOS has more marketshare than Android (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848029)

According to Reuters, Apple surpassed Android in marketshare [reuters.com] by the end of 2011, confirming earlier reports by both Nielsen [nielsen.com] and NPD [gigaom.com] . 150 Android smartphones couldn't beat the iPhone 4S. With 15 million iPads sold last quarter, the tablet market is now larger than the entire desktop PC market. Apple’s profits ($13 billion) exceeded Google’s entire revenue ($10.6 billion).

Who cares? Well, in January 2011, Slashdot triumphantly reported that Android surpassed iOS in marketshare [slashdot.org] . All year, Android fans cited Android's marketshare as proof that it was taking over the smartphone industry, that the lack of centralized control was superior to the "walled garden", and that Android was "winning".

So what happened when the opposite occurred and Apple reversed Android's marketshare lead by the end of the year? Despite multiple submissions from several users, and news coverage ranging from Arstechnica to CNN, Slashdot refused to publish the story. All the sudden, it wasn't considered newsworthy despite the publication of the other story a year earlier.

This is a Linux advocacy site whose initial userbase was driven by hatred of Windows marketshare. Marketshare is still highly fetishized around here. Anything negative about the marketshare of Linux, or platforms based on Linux, gets killed. Slashdot is intentionally not providing you full tech news coverage because it caters to a specific demographic of emotionally-invested users who are more likely to generate repeat page views.

But this paper begs to differ... (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848111)

Have a read:

Here [51degrees.mobi]

Who cares anyway? At the end of the day, the billions Apple has in the bank will not help me pay my student and credit card debts. Neither will Android's success assist in making life easier for me.

In other words, at the end of the day, my life will not change one bit! These successes by Apple and Android companies only encourage me to save more of my dollars.

Planned obsolescence especially in the mobile gadget ecosystem only benefits huge multinational companies anyway.

Re:But this paper begs to differ... (0)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848131)

Your link is a measurement of web usage, and it contradicts nearly ever other web survey [netmarketshare.com] that shows that iOS is dominant [applegazette.com] in that regard. This was actually discussed in a previous Slashdot article. Many Android sales are to budget buyers who don't use their phones like smartphones.

Re:But this paper begs to differ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848361)

contradicts nearly ever other web survey

If by "nearly every" you mean "NetApplications'", then yes. Otherwise, not quite so "dominating" [wikipedia.org] .

Many Android sales are to budget buyers who don't use their phones like smartphones.

Myth and unability to understand that "iOS generates more mobile traffic" != "Android users don't browse web".

If there's a hundred of iOS devices and a hundred of Android devices in the world, and every Android owner reads 10 webpages a day, while iOS owners read 20, you'll still get 66% to 33%, though every device visits the internet.

If you look at apps usage and web share in relation to market share, you'll see they fit pretty closely. Here's a bunch of statistics [cnet.com] . ComScore, for example, gives Android market share as 34.1% and 31.9% web share, with 43.1% and 58.5% for Apple. RIM, for comparison, is 15% of market to just 5% of web traffic.

Re:But this paper begs to differ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848551)

Oops, you forgot to hit "post anonymously"

Re:But this paper begs to differ... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848405)

Your link - 51degrees.mobi - uses analytics build into a web app framework to count clients. Generally speaking iPhone users don't use web apps because they have such a wide variety of quality native apps. That will be why the results don't tally with market share figures or those studies counting generic web usage.

Re:iOS has more marketshare than Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848117)

Apple sold 37 million iPhones last quarter passing up Samsung. But... Samsung (one of many Android smartphone makers) sold close to an estimated 36.5 million phones last quarter as well.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/27/us-samsung-idUSTRE80P1KY20120127 [reuters.com]

I like how you selectively pick "IOS" devices. You are moving the goal posts and interchanging IOS, iPhone, iPad, and "smartphones" selectively and non consistently to cherry pick specific statistics that conforms to your rant. Your claim of iPhones are selling more than Android "smartphones" is 100% FALSE. More Android Smartphones were sold all of last year and every quarter then iPhones. Android does not have any thing close to IOS sales in the tablet field. SO yes.. IOS devices outsell Android devices but that has no relevance to your rant of IOS smartphones compared to the Android smartphones.

Re:iOS has more marketshare than Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848139)

Samsung (one of many Android smartphone makers) sold close to an estimated 36.5 million phones last quarter as well.

Phones != Android

In other words, of 36.5 million phones does not mean those are all android phones let alone smart phones.

Re:iOS has more marketshare than Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848155)

Read the article again

Samsung didn't give its own sales volume data, but research firm Strategy Analytics put sales at 36.5 million smartphones in October-December, with 3rd-ranked Nokia on 19.6 million. Smartphones account for around 40 percent of all Samsung's handset shipments.

Samsung sold 36.5 million SMARTPHONES and that was 40% of their total phone sales so their total phone sales were 91.25 million phones.

Re:iOS has more marketshare than Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848373)

So which company are all these AC's shilling for...

Because most of us REALLY don't give a shit which company is #1 or #2.

And still the bottom line is apple is some locked down, fucked up, half assed, lawsuit happy company who has not created anything original in 20 years.

All of you need to fuck off. Really.

No risk for me (0, Flamebait)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848031)

**wipes brow** I dodged a bullet on this one. No android, no problem, amirite? Nobody has ever pwned the iPhone.

- Sent from my ruPhone.

Re:No risk for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848089)

Yeah but did you see the names of the affected apps? You would have to be a real moron to be duped by those.

Re:No risk for me (4, Interesting)

WhitetailKitten (866108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848121)

This is what I came here to say. If you think that those apps are legitimate or at least only a positive, you are either very desperate, underage, or a moron of the highest order. In the case of the first, I'm sorry you don't have the brains to find actual free porn/cheesecake pics, in the case of the second you're not clever enough to ascend to the next level of porn, and in the case of the third your phone is too smart for you, please take it back.

On a slightly different topic, since I might as well go all out in insulting average non-computer-savvy people for the crime of not spending their life like pasty-faced Anonymous Cowards in front of the cool glow of a monitor in their basement, I remember an early app in the Android market that was literally a tithe calculator. I'm GUESSING this was someone's first app or otherwise a test app by someone learning to program, because I actually downloaded it a second time after an update and the interface became slightly more refined (with a background picture instead of a flat colour and so on), and I'm not particularly here to mock the author of the app so much as any target audience members that might exist.

The app had a prompt for you to enter how much your annual income was, and then a 'go' button that returned (income/10) as the amount you needed to tithe. In the event that you belong to a church that receives tithes to support it, I'm very afraid if you need a smartphone and a custom app in order to divide a number by ten. The app did exactly what it said on the can, but by FSM I hope nobody was browsing through the Android Market and went "Oh! That's exactly what I need!"

Re:No risk for me (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848287)

This is what I came here to say. If you think that those apps are legitimate or at least only a positive, you are either very desperate, underage, or a moron of the highest order. In the case of the first, I'm sorry you don't have the brains to find actual free porn/cheesecake pics, in the case of the second you're not clever enough to ascend to the next level of porn, and in the case of the third your phone is too smart for you, please take it back.

Ah right. It's the user's fault. The classic excuse for bad IT systems.

Re:No risk for me (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848209)

Of course, everyone has known for the past decade at least that we're at the point where the primary attack vector for malware is social engineering. It's only really on Slashdot and other Linux-cebtric sites where you still see only a half admission of that fact. It's social engineering when it affects Linux, whereas it's shitty inherently shitty security when it affects Windows,

At least we can finally stop pretending that Linux is powered by MagicalPixieDust(TM) and is immune to infection.

May have? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848041)

And this planet MIGHT be home to 400 trillion invisible monkeys.

This just sounds like the typical FUD from Apple/Microsoft.

Please provide proof.

Re:May have? (3, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848093)

From TFA:

'Symantec estimated the impact by combining the download totals -- which the Android Market shows as ranges -- of the 13 apps, arriving at a figure between 1 million on the low end and 5 million on the high. "Yes, this is the largest malware [outbreak] on the Android Market," said Haley.'

Even the most optimistic estimate is very bad.

Re:May have? (3, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848321)

"In other news, security research firm says they've found alarming evidence of their own relevance.
Details at 11"

That's 5:00 you non-binary-reading troglodytes. I suspect next I'll hear a story about how useful rats are at guarding cheese.

Re:May have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848381)

It's a good thing they sell Norton Mobile Security to go with those estimates.

Assume the worst and it's 5 million. That's what, around 2% of Android devices? 5 Million is a lot but there are also 195 million devices that aren't running the malware.

Serious question: How much of this is hard spin from a security company that has much to gain from phone owners being scared?

Re:May have? (2)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848383)

'Symantec estimated the impact by combining the download totals -- which the Android Market shows as ranges -- of the 13 apps, arriving at a figure between 1 million on the low end and 5 million on the high.

Of course Symantec totally ignored that the download totals do not translate into the number of infected users. How many devices have multiple apps? That estimate could easily be 10x too high.

  Did the author run scripts to pump up the numbers to gain visibility? Many app authors do this

Re:May have? (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848547)

yeah I wish Google would speak to this.
It could be that NO ONE has downloaded these apps...

Re:May have? (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848535)

And of course NONE of the anti-virus or malware scanners caught even One instance of this in the wild.

SYMANTIC advertising their own uselessness.

Opps... (1)

frnic (98517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848043)

n/t

bbbbbbbbbbut (0, Flamebait)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848047)

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbut Linux is secure!

Re:bbbbbbbbbbut (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848069)

The slashbot trolls lied to me! I can't believe it!

Those Counter-Strike "Clones" (4, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848051)

I've always thought it was odd that those games that literally copied Counter-Strike were allowed on the Google Market.

I know, you're about to say "copying gameplay, while unethical, is completely legal". Problem is, they didn't copy the gameplay - they're boring rail shooters. The copied stuff is the art - the textures, models, even some of the maps. And that's blatant copyright infringement. It's obvious even from the previews, if you've played the game enough. And since, at one point, people playing cs_italy were responsible for more bandwidth usage than actual people in Italy, I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to notice it.

I figured Valve, being pretty savvy about this sort of thing, figured that suing them would give them too much publicity - Streisand Effect and all that, not worth the huge amount of publicity that anything Valve does. Now, I'm thinking that iApps7 was just ignoring the cease-and-desists, because when you're already distributing malware and committing actual, commercial copyright theft, you're probably not too afraid of lawyers.

Re:Those Counter-Strike "Clones" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848147)

I've always thought it was odd that those games that literally copied Counter-Strike were allowed on the Google Market.

I know, you're about to say "copying gameplay, while unethical, is completely legal".

Apparently, it's only red double decker buses on a black and white picture that can be not made similar.

Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848055)

Although I seriously doubt Symantec's 5 million number is right, the fact that malware keep showing up on the market is disturbing. Actually, we're beyond disturbing, it's getting downright annoying. Google needs to do better than removing bad applications after the fact, and while this doesn't need to be a Jobsian walled garden, at a minimum Google needs to start reviewing all applications (and updates!) before posting them to make sure they're clean.

Phones are appliances, and trying to handle malware the same way we handle it on computers (which is to say, after the fact) is not going to work.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848077)

What they could do is provide the same sort of "reviewed application" market that Apple does, but as an option (as I believe Apple should). I see that as the best of both worlds. If you want to lower the odds of malware, use that market. If you don't mind a little risk use something else, like the current Android market.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848087)

I'd also like to add that my phone is no more an appliance than my home computer. Some phones are appliances because their functionality has been reduced to that. I'm still hoping for an updated version of the N900 (or something similar) to hit the market.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848115)

Nerds seeking a feeling of control in their lives turn to computers. They hate the idea of appliances, because the feeling of mastery over something gives them a sense of control that they lack in their daily lives. And seeing mainstream users walking around with appliances, many of the same people who alienated them in the first place, breeds resentment. That's why this "freedom" argument always comes up, because the feeling of having it taken away is like a personal attack.

But I'm afraid appliances have always been the inevitable future, just like you don't hand-crank an automobile to start it (and most people don't even manually shift gears anymore even though direct control is more fuel-efficient). And I have to say, lying in bed with a computer that does all the things I and most people in the world use them for--browsing the web, casual games, watching movies, posting on social networks, listening to music--without all the maintenance and time investment of a PC is really, really nice. It's obviously the future.

Based on sales from October through December, the tablet market already outsells the whole desktop PC market. The writing is on the wall.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848201)

It's a fad which will decline. I have encountered all of a handful of users with tablets and each has said basically the same thing. They are expensive toys. You really think that they will dominate in the long run? No chance in hell. Taking a look at a sliver doesn't mean much. They are like Netbooks. There will be a high point and you will see a decline.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848217)

I have encountered all of a handful of users with tablets and each has said basically the same thing.

With a sample size like that, how could you be wrong?

For crying out loud, we're onto year three of the iPad, and it sold over 15 million last month. This is as much a "fad" as the mouse and GUI. If you don't see the inevitability of this, then frankly you are out of touch. Nobody wants to install and maintain a PC just to browse the web anymore. The same kind of streamlining already happened to gaming in the 2000s via consoles.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848453)

The same kind of streamlining already happened to gaming in the 2000s via consoles.

That's when even the Slashdot "can't be trendy" crowd caved. The mainstream gamer has been on consoles since at least the mid-80's.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848265)

AC [slashdot.org] writes:

Nerds seeking a feeling of control in their lives turn to computers. They hate the idea of appliances, because the feeling of mastery over something gives them a sense of control that they lack in their daily lives.

bonch [slashdot.org] writes:

I think some of the Apple hatred stems from the fact that many techies absorb themselves in computers because it gives them a feeling of control that they lack in their daily lives. Mastering a system is gratifying on many levels.

Overly Critical Guy [slashdot.org] writes:

I think the cause of reactions like yours is that some people don't have control in their lives, so they seek it in PCs, because mastering the upkeep required for a PC gives you that missing feeling of control. Having that feeling taken away from you by non-PCs threatens you on a core level, reminding you of the lack of control in your real life, so you snap back to protect it.

You don't even really try, do you?

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848415)

Can the Slashdot overlords please ban this BonchOverlyCritical entity? Please? It is people like him that drive genuine posters, you know the people that might actually click those ads away. Seriously, geek.net, DO SOMETHING before your website rots away beneath you.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848493)

LOL, googling "control that they lack in their daily lives" gives exactly 5 results, these two quoted anonymous GP and bonch on slashdot and a comment on reddit [reddit.com]

You are a nerd. Nerds absorb themselves in computers because it gives them a feeling of mastery and control that they lack in their daily lives. When someone removes that control, nerds resent it because it's like a personal attack and a reminder of their life situation, especially when the product in question becomes popular among the same non-techies who alienated the nerd in the first place. (in that bonch's post quoted by parent: "it's really like an attack on the person directly, especially when the product is popular among non-techies--many of the same people who alienated that person in the first place")

He's like reciting a script, lol.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (5, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848197)

Consider the difference between the following questions:

(1) Who can *you* trust?
(2) Who can *everyone* trust?

The problem with the Apple market, and with your idea too, is that it is predicated on having an answer to the second question other than "nobody".

It seems clear to me that a better solution could be built around the first question. That entails letting the consumer decide who he trusts to review and approve apps, then giving him the tools to implement that trust. That'd involve some kind of network to distribute digitally signed approvals. You wouldn't have to have different app stores. You could use any store or combination of stores you wanted. What matters is whether you can find a certification for an app from an authority you trust.

Consumers would subscribe to different authorities based on their concerns. Businesses might choose different kinds of reviewers to trust than gamers. Different functions in a business might choose different reviewers based on the kind of information they handle (e.g. whether the device running the app has sensitive or privacy related data). Evangelical Christians might choose review authorities that reject apps that promote pornography, and porn-hounds would choose authorities that reject apps promoting Christianity.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848327)

That assumes that the average consumer can or should be able to make intelligent decisions about "who he trusts to review and approve apps". In reality it would be the malware company with the biggest marketing budget. The idea that a consumer should first spend weeks getting up to speed in the mapping or racing simulator communities before they can safely try out a couple apps is ridiculous. What you would get instead is friends recommending friends, and all that means is that every person who gets tricked they immediately recommend a few friends to download the same BS.

Because the question in question is not "who can *everyone* trust?", the question is "who can everyone trust not to serve up malware". That is a much easier question to answer. And I think "big company with a lot of resources and a large vested interest in not serving me malware" is a pretty good answer to that question.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (3, Insightful)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848531)

I've always thought that apt (apt-get, aptitude, Debian) has the right solution to this.

You get your software from a repository, and only software that is approved by the maintainers of the repository gets in.

Then, _you_ get to choose which repositories you trust.

That way, you don't have to judge the quality of all software yourself. You can leave that to the people who maintain the repositories. They will build up reputation over time, and you can go with the ones that have a good enough reputation by your standards.

A walled-garden app store like Apple's basically implements the first part of this. This is fine for a lot of people.

To also cater to those who want more freedom, without opening the flood gates, all you have to do is allow them to shop at other app stores, as well.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848235)

The only problem I see with that is that it doesn't do much to solve the Dancing Bunnies problem within the Market. So long as loading unsigned applications is allowed it will always be an issue, but not allowing unreviewed applications at all in the Market is a much better solution. Otherwise people are going to grab their Counter Strike knock-offs whether they're reviewed or not, because after all they're coming from Google and Google can be trusted.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848079)

while this doesn't need to be a Jobsian walled garden

I say absolutely turn it into a Jobsian "walled garden" (ugh, that term). Let people with technical knowledge choose alternative markets if they want, while keeping the core, default market as safe and high-quality as possible. One of the benefits is this: Android critics often mock the platform for things like laggy scrolling or short battery life, and while it's true some of Android's fundamental graphics system slightly impedes scrolling performance, it's not as if Android is completely incapable of smooth performance, efficient battery, and so on. Apple's strict app approval process rejects apps that drain the battery or are shitty to use, and that alone contributes to the perception that iOS itself is smoother and faster.

In other words, not only would maintaining stricter quality control get rid of a lot of dangerous apps, it would also improve the overall perception of Android's performance, because only well-performing apps would get approved. And again, all the leftovers could go to alternative markets if they wanted.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848081)

Walled garden is the way to go.
Android users very satisfied: 47%
iPhone users very satisfied: 75%

http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/01/09/iphone-satisfaction-at-75-closest-competitor-at-47/ [loopinsight.com]

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848091)

PNOOMA:

Android users that have a clue what's going on: 90%
iPhone users that have a clue what's going on: 25%

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848109)

Such a clue that 5,000,000 of the are infected with malware.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848157)

Lucky I didn't put down 100% then.

foxconn factory workers very satisfied: (1, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848119)

foxconn factory workers very satisfied: 100%, with no dissent! amazing.

when interviewed, every last worker expressed their deepest appreciation for their bosses, and how much they love working together for harmonious success of the company, which they love and admire deeply.

Apple Haters ignore the fact they are more guilty (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848243)

foxconn factory workers very satisfied: 100%, with no dissent! amazing.

Who makes your Android phone?

Some company that cares even LESS for their workers. At least Apple is trying to help and improve things, but China has a very servile culture embedded that has been pushed on them for many generations. They have a factory culture that has been as it is for a long time now and change is not instant.

So every dig you take at Apple and Foxconn labels you a dirty hypocrite if you use any electronics whatsoever, because even more people suffered for your device to be made...

Re:Apple Haters ignore the fact they are more guil (2)

iserlohn (49556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848363)

HTC makes all of their premium Android phones in Taiwan. The workplace standards are of course much higher there compared to Mainland China. Samsung, on the other hand uses a number of factories, including ones in South Korea and China to make their flagship Galaxy SII phones.

Re:Apple Haters ignore the fact they are more guil (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848543)

HTC makes all of their premium Android phones in Taiwan. The workplace standards are of course much higher there compared to Mainland China. Samsung, on the other hand uses a number of factories, including ones in South Korea and China to make their flagship Galaxy SII phones.

I just checked my Galaxy Nexus. It says "Made in China", so I'm guessing it's probably a safe assumption it's made at Foxconn.

And while HTC's premium flagship phones are made in Taiwan, I'd guess most of the rest of them are made in Foxconn (for every flagship, there's probably dozens more of the lowend phones sold).

Re:foxconn factory workers very satisfied: (2)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848249)

Foxconn is the world's largest maker of electronics components and makes products for every major computer company including Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nintendo, Samsung, and Sony. Why they're always intimately associated with Apple on tech forums is beyond me other than as anti-Apple flamebait.

because Dell doesn't put Gandhi in advertising (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848337)

its pretty simple - Apple asked for it. no other company is stupid enough to pretend it is a revolution

Re:because Dell doesn't put Gandhi in advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848423)

You can't even capitalize your sentences properly in a non-realtime conversation.

Re:foxconn factory workers very satisfied: (1, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848335)

And your mobile phone was made where, hypocrite?

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848293)

Adding a walled app garden wouldn't even begin to fix the quality control issues with Android. First you have the wild variety in smartphone quality. Sure, you get Android in more people's hands with cheaper phones, but the experience suffers and those people end up unsatisfied. Then you have the situation where a brand new phone can be released with an old OS. Looking over AT&T's Android lineup, it seems like almost 50% of their smartphones are stuck on 2.2, and will never see another upgrade. It also looks like there are currently no phones with 4.0. ICS was announced in May and launched in October. What exactly is taking so long? Every iPhone you buy today is on 5.0. Every Windows Phone you buy is on Mango. Yeah, Android is selling like crazy, but some of the phones out there offer truly awful experiences, and this will ultimately drive users to other platforms.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848359)

Yeah, but how man iPhones are on 6.0? None? Is your problem that it takes a long time for the OS to make it to phones, or is your problem that the OS is announced too early?

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848425)

It's more than announcing early. ICS was sold on an Android phone in October. Yet still most Android phones are sold on an older version. That shit doesn't happen on iPhone.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848501)

Then get an iPhone. They're perfect for douchebags like you. I'd go so far as to say tailor made.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848519)

That shit doesn't happen on iPhone.

Of course not. But like many things related to iOS, choice is extremely limited.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848391)

That's if you want to prioritize satisfaction over all else. Paradoxically reduced choice can lead to greater satisfaction [ted.com] even if it leads to lower productivity. While customers may be seeking to maximize satisfaction for personal use, I daresay most businesses would choose to maximize productivity, or bang for the buck. While libertarians (both the right wing and left wing types) would choose to maximize choice.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848441)

That's if you want to prioritize satisfaction over all else. Paradoxically reduced choice can lead to greater satisfaction

Absolutely.

even if it leads to lower productivity.

Who says it leads to lower productivity? That's certainly not part of the message of the Paradox of Choice.

While libertarians (both the right wing and left wing types) would choose to maximize choice.

That's because they are foolish.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848483)

Walled garden is the way to go.
Android users very satisfied: 47%
iPhone users very satisfied: 75%

Nokia and RIM had walled garden. What's the stats with those?

Besides, even if Google copied the Apple App Store tomorrow, it would still have Android on a wide variety of devices, both low end devices and high end devices, so that rating would still be unlikely to change. The same goes for the iPhone. If Apple were to suddenly target the low end of the Market, I doubt any of the customers with the lower end devices vs. the high end would be as satisfied.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848511)

Walled garden is the way to go.

False. The walled garden is about trapping users and forcing them to a sole source.

What Google needs to do is start vetting and being more stringent about what gets into the store. Taking away people's ability to side load (which is what the Walled Garden is about) does nothing to further this.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (-1, Troll)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848133)

Get Their Ass In Gear

Android. Hemorrhoid
Hemorrhoid. Android.

Rhymes with a rectal condition...

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (3, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848261)

Hold your tongue and say Apple...

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848395)

And you're a shit stain?

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (3, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848219)

Although I seriously doubt Symantec's 5 million number is right, the fact that malware keep showing up on the market is disturbing.

To be fair, this does not look like Malware at all.

For instance, I'm looking at the game called 'Balloon Game' by Ogre Games, which they say is malware. By downloading the application, you're agreeing to the fact that it can read your phone state and phone identity, you're agreeing that it can use the internet, and you're agreeing that it can install shortcuts on your home screen.

The application wants to know my unique IMEI number? or my Mac address? Whoop di doo. I really don't care about that. And yes, it has access to the internet, so it can serve me ads, send info about me, and possibly (according to Symantec) update its own code in real time.

But even if it can update its own code in real time, it can't change its permissions in real-time (it doesn't have the permissions for that), so it's still sandboxed in the permissions I gave it originally. So what's the problem here? What other "sensitive" information is it leaking out? Does this application go against anything in the Google's Market Terms of Services in any way? No, it doesn't. Only Apple has inane Terms of Services about not being able to load code dynamically from the internet.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (2)

Skythe (921438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848353)

Perhaps Symantec are flagging it as malware because it is using permissions that the app clearly does not need, and it is just some rookie developer that has permission code copied in from some other site?

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (3, Informative)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848451)

Perhaps Symantec are flagging it as malware because it is using permissions that the app clearly does not need, and it is just some rookie developer that has permission code copied in from some other site?

You could try clicking the link in the article and see why. http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2012-012709-4046-99&tabid=2 [symantec.com]

Or just be lazy like the rest of the slashdot heard.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (3, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848461)

No, it's flagging it as "Malware" because it wants to you do the following [symantec.com] as their solution for removing the so-called "Malware". Note how they conveniently left the simplest instructions for uninstalling the application all the way at the bottom of the page (where almost no one will see it).

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (4, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848443)

To be fair, this does not look like Malware at all.

Hijacking your browser homepage, adding shortcuts to the desktop,stealing the imei and imsi (sufficient info to clone your sim card) ,copying your contacts,etc certainly counts as a trojan. Did you bother to read the symantec description?

Sure a smart user might notice the excessive permissions but the average user just hits okay and doesnt even read the list.

They have the company details (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848229)

They have the account details for these, they should go prosecute them.

Re:Google Needs To Get Their Ass In Gear (1)

Fireshadow (632041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848367)

I disagree. Here's why.

"Although I seriously doubt Symantec's 5 million number is right,...." I could see it. According to Gartner, "smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011. The Android OS accounted for 52.5 percent of smartphone sales to end users in the third quarter of 2011 more than doubling its market share from the third quarter of 2010." Add in the Android phones sold prior to third quarter 2011 that are still in use.
Now we are talking about an under 10% successful infection. That doesn't grab headlines. Of course, an anti-virus vendor who happens to sell "end point protection" at $29 a year for their Pro version may have a financial incentive to make sure they are in news.

Phones are appliances, and trying to handle malware the same way we handle it on computers (which is to say, after the fact) is not going to work.

Smartphones are not appliances. Quit thinking of them as such. They are small, portable computers that meet most of the end user's needs. Hence the popularity. As their primary function is to make a phone call, perhaps the GUI does not fit into our typical "this is a computer" mindset. In the same way, VoIP phones and networks have been a target for years. For example, the Cisco 7940 has webserver built in. Again, a small computer.

Google needs to keep their market open. There's not the barriers to entry Apple has erected. I'll give you they do need to co-operate with the authorities.The key here is educating the user base. This in terms of tools (anti-virus software) as well as habits (don't go here on the web).

Links:

And as I live in the U.S., land of the free, the following disclaimer applies: The above material is presented strictly for educational purposes

Reaction (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848057)

For years, the Windows platform was mocked relentlessly as a cesspool for malware. It's interesting to see what happens when there is a lack of quality control from the platform vendor, which turned Windows into a complete mess of contradictory interfaces (even within Microsoft's own software), convoluted configuration settings, and a third-party market devoted to cleaning up viruses and spyware. Android seriously risks going down that path, if it's not there already. There has to be more control on the part of Google.

Pushing back on that is a small contingent of techies who want to turn the smartphone into a PC. They like to cite the freedom to install anything they want, but the truth is that mainstream users wouldn't do so even if they knew how. Google needs to cater to the needs of the majority and not latch onto populist concepts sound good to tech crowds (e.g., "openness") but mean nothing to everyone else who just uses these things as tools rather than hobbies--especially when Google seems to have trouble following fundamental tenets of open source like source code access.

Those 37 million iPhone sales over December reversed the 2011 Android surge. The in-fighting among Android vendors risks more forks like Kindle Fire, customized interfaces, and abandoned phones that no longer receive updates mere months after their release. Google, turn the ship around before it's too late! The carriers won't help you.

Re:Reaction (1, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848319)

You've all been fooled. Before you forward the Symantec scareware to all your friends, please study what the symantec announcement says a little more closely.

I've taken a look at the 'Balloon Game' by Ogre Games for instance. It's not malware. It's not doing anything that it hasn't requested in the permissions already. And even if it can update itself (as Symantec claims it can do), if you read Symantec owns report, Symantec doesn't think it can do anything (outside of the permissions it has already been granted).

The only malware here is Norton Symantec, with their fake claims about it being malware and with their super long suggested solution of removing the problem (when the last paragraph at the end of their page titled "manual removal" would remove the program far more quickly).

You may have arrived at this page either because you have been alerted by your Symantec product about this risk, or you are concerned that your device has been affected by this risk.

Install Norton Mobile Security
If you do not already have Norton Mobile Security installed on your device, please download the product from the Android marketplace.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the norton.mobi website from your device and download the product from there by completing the following steps:
Select the 90-Day free download.
Click on the Android icon to begin downloading the product.
Click on Install in order to accept the permissions that are being requested by the program.
Next, click Open and then Agree & Launch.

Note: The first time the product runs, you will be required to enter a code that is displayed on the screen in order to activate the product. Enter the provided code and press Submit.

Run a full system scan
Run a full system scan using Norton Mobile Security to remove this risk from the device. To do this, please perform the following actions:
Navigate to the Anti-Malware tab.
Click Scan Now.

Manual removal
To remove this risk manually, please perform the following actions:
Open the Google Android Menu.
Go to the Settings icon and select Applications.
Next, click Manage.
Select the application and click the Uninstall button.

Re:Reaction (2)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848343)

It's not malware. It's not doing anything that it hasn't requested in the permissions already.

Why, who wouldn't want to give permission to change your home page, collect your personal data, and display ads?

Re:Reaction (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848413)

No, I meant the home screen, not the home page. On Android, you have a home screen, which an app can add its shortcut to (assuming it's not full, if it's full, it's out of luck, and the shortcut doesn't get made). And yes, there are plenty of people who don't want ads and who don't want to be tracked.

On the Android Market, those people will usually have to pay to buy a version without the ads (and/or install a custom rom with the ads sdks disabled). There are still free apps with no tracking and no advertisements, but don't be surprised if you can't get the latest Angry Birds without ads -- if you're unwilling to pay for it either.

Re:Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848437)

That's a stupid question. It's called an exchange. You give up something to get what you want. You want the game, you pay for it. Either directly by handing over the cash or indirectly by watching ads which is what all 3 of the things you mention lead up to you doing. I mean, oh my fucking God, I might have to *gasp* see a targeted ad for something I might actually like. The horror I tell you!

Indirectly related, but... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848097)

Apart from being somewhat annoyed about the greater difficulty of managing my smartphone when compared to my Linux boxes, I've been having a hard time selecting apps for it.

Android market is not exactly friendly (is there a way to get larger fonts?) and I'd like to have a search by permissions. Recently, I wanted a mere notepad app -- no frills, no cloud, no nothing, just the note, but there's an "excellent" notepad app which requires you to join an online service. WTF!!!

After finding 2 suitable apps, I would still need a bigger keys soft keyboard... again looking at permissions to avoid leaking unnecessary things.

No wonder guys end up getting viruses... we need better ways to control our exposure. Then again Google's business depends on offering us what we want and thus they need to know that. But am I giving my data only to Google? I wonder where my accounts and their details end up going...

Re:Indirectly related, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848239)

Jota Text Editor [android.com] is a good, free (no ads, no permissions) notepad/notepad++ like program for Android.

Re:Indirectly related, but... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848351)

You can install apps on your phone from the browser on you Linux box using the Android Market web site.

Viruses being written for Linux as well. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848103)

There are a lot of angry Linux users pissed off at Gnome 3 and Unity so they are writting viruses in retaliation. I can confirm that there are viruses for Linux out there, Slashdot won't believe me, but it's happening.

bb..bbb....bbbut its running linux! (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848113)

everyone knows that you can't hack linux! linux is secure!

Re:bb..bbb....bbbut its running linux! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848153)

This still doesn't say anything about security of the OS. Users downloaded an app and granted it the rights to see things it shouldn't. That's not a hack, it is yet another case of PEBKAC.

Well combine this with googles other news (3, Interesting)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848137)

Well, combine this with Googles recent news of privacy policy changes and Android's shine really is fading fast. I hate Apple, not for the products, I love Macs. It's the overused domination attitude I just can't deal with. So, that said, what's left? Win phone? Omg no. Maybe RIM and Nokia still have a niche after all... Just something to consider.

Re:Well combine this with googles other news (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848195)

It's the overused domination attitude I just can't deal with.

What domination attitude? If there was ever a company that was more interested in finishing last than releasing something with less than perfection in the eyes of its makers, it's Apple. For god's sake, Scott Forstall allegedly keeps a jeweler's loupe in his desk to critique their software at the pixel level.

Re:Well combine this with googles other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848529)

Windows has the best interface, Linux is the best for geeks and is free. Mac is clunky and runs on expensive hardware and they don't make any Mac-specific software so why bother.

I know it's an internet cliche to talk about but shit has to be said.

Typing this from a Mac Mini, my first and last Mac.

WGA will save us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848151)

Normally I would just chalk this up to anti-Android FUD, but since it comes from Symantec--a trusted name in computer security--I have no reservations about the seriousness of the threat. Since I hate apple hipsters looks like it's back to WGA for me! Microsoft is going to bring back the Zune in phone form any day now... you'll see. Go ahead and laugh but in the end I'll be the one saying I told you so.

bonch the astroturfing douche (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848207)

Ya know it's an anti-Google story when bonch the astroturfing douche bag cub reporter is on the story.

It's still on the market (1)

dmesg0 (1342071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848221)

The amazing part is that iApps7 games are still on the market (as of this writing, 10PM PST).

It's obvious from the comments that they are total crap though. Anyone literate enough to read the comments wouldn't touch this stuff.

Re:It's still on the market (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848463)

I know amazing right? Why would they just stand there and ask "how high?" when Symantec says jump when they should just start jumping, right? We all know how infallible Symantec is after all. [wired.com]

'Tard World (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848271)

Here's a 'jigsaw' of a half naked young woman, the picture only has 4 sections but I'll download it anyway, what could possibly go wrong?
What do you mean my phone is infected?

This isn't the OS you're looking for. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38848303)

Despite being Linux-based, it is weak-minded. I sold my android device to some other poor, unsuspecting dupe. I got it, played with it for a little while, realized it was basically worthless, and sold it while it still had resale value. Because I bought it at Christmas time, with a steep discount, I actually turned a profit on the little piece of shit. Hahahahahah... sucker. Android has an app store with no vetting process, and that is the heart of the problem. I don't know that it's possible to make an OS where apps are so sandboxed that it doesn't matter WHAT they do. Perhaps if the OS itself had a master control panel at which you could, as the user, and without gaining root, change the permissions of every single program...

But they'll never do that. Linux (and all OS's based on it) suffer the same basic problems other OS's do anymore, because they've become OS designed to be able to run on general purpose machines. So now you've got security exploits, a pain-in-the-ass system (SELinux) that comes bundled that's more annoying than the security default set up that came with Windows Vista, a kludgey patchwork of libraries and it's just a total clusterfuck anymore.

What happened to the UNIX standard from the age of K&R, when each program did what it was designed to do, did it fast, did it well, did it quietly with a modest set of resource requirements, terminated and returned control to the OS?

Now there's almost no advantage to using Linux over Windows, and the disadvantage of it being a big pain in the ass, sometimes. There's a reason why so many Linux distros now are playing catch-up on a 2-3 year lag on features and interface usability with Microsoft and Apple. The reason is because the big boys cleaned up their act, and Linux is becoming increasingly fragmented. Android is useless, I have tried multiple different Linux distros, Windows from 3.1 to 7, and Commodore Basic (pseudo-OS), and MS DOS. I have even tried FreeBSD a few times.

Linux has gotten to be almost as easy to use as Windows, but the myth that you never have to reboot Linux has I think been debunked. Last time I tried Linux, (Mint 11, and Fedora 14, I think) Every time I fired up the computer, the automatic updater would start, and tell me there were dozens of packages that needed to be updated. Frequently this included critical subsystems, (like the kernel itself,) that ended up requiring a restart.

What happened to you Linux? Your ass used to be beautiful...

Anyway, this thread was about Android exploits. Yeah, MOD me down as a troll, I don't give a shit, because this is the TRUTH:

Android is crap. (IOS is also crap, for a completely different reason) but until someone comes up with something better, something that keeps programs in their own space so that they can't jack other files or the system, and that can do all the other things android and IOS phones can do, Android based equipment will continue to be useless. :)

Re:This isn't the OS you're looking for. (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848523)

When drivel like this gets modded up, I know why Taco left. Joke-dot? Slash-gadget? Take your pick.

Speculation (1)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848309)

It may have infected five million users!

Then again, it may have not.

walled garden for high permissions (1)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38848371)

If you upload an app to the market place that needs access to the users bookmarks I think that a more in depth review process is in order.

At the very lest the user should be see an alert that says something like "This app seems to want a lot on your phone and hasn't been verified by Google...only use it if you really want to "....

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