New market opportunities for malware producers
Google has said 58 malicious apps were uploaded to Android Market and then downloaded to around 260,000 devices before Google removed the affected apps last Tuesday evening. It isn't clear how many users activated the applications, a Google spokesman said.
Unlike Apple Inc. or BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., Google doesn't have employees dedicated to approving apps submitted to its store. Google said it removes apps that violate its policies, and has some internal measures to identify offenders.
While that may leave Google's Android Market more vulnerable in some respects, security experts say all mobile operating systems are open to similar kinds of attacks. In the past, Apple has also pulled apps from its App Store after they were discovered to send information about users and their phones to outside parties without the users' knowledge or consent.