Mar 1st, 2011

Yay, more malware! This time, a trojan called Android.Pjapps is making its rounds inside of a modified version of the Steamy Window application. This cracked version of the application is reportedly available on various warez sites, but doesn’t seem to be in the Android market, thankfully.

The trojan is said to send text messages to phone numbers that will allow the recipient of that text message to add a few more dollars to your monthly bill. The trojan also blocks incoming texts from the response system so that the user is never notified that this is happening.

It’s a nasty sounding trojan that – quite honestly – has me thinking twice about my stance on mobile anti-virus solutions. (If you were wondering, my stance was that they were quite pointless.) Now, I feel like downloading one just to stay on the safe side.

The developers behind these trojans are getting more vicious with what they’re able to do, and that’s quite unsettling. Everything from my data being wired to someone’s computer to being charged $100 for something I never purchased could happen. I’m not saying it ever will happen to me – I pay close attention to what I download and am very selective about what I get and from where.

And while this trojan is only up on warez sites where pirates deserve SOME sort of “payback”, what’s keeping these developers from uploading their applications to third-party markets such as GetJar or the Android market where legitimate customers could be at risk?  Google usually takes care of any highly-malicious application with a killswitch feature they’ve implemented, but that isn’t always fast enough in some cases.

We always joke about how this industry has become a lot like the war between Apple, Microsoft and Linux on PCs, with Google filling in for Microsoft for the time being. We’re usually talking about how the open strategy keeps Android’s growth spurt going, but just like the PC side of things, malware is starting to plague Android and virus protection is more necessary than it ever has been.

The only thing I can ask you guys to do is to research what you’re downloading and from who and from where. Use the Android market wherever possible and don’t put yourself in these sorts of unfavorable situations. Not pirating would also be nice. [via Android Central]