Over the weekend, news broke of the latest malware scourge to hit Android, with Google removing a dozen-some apps from the Market capable of racking-up big bills with premium SMS numbers. Now Microsoft is capitalizing on the bad PR to try and win some worried users over to its side, by means of a Twitter contest.
The threat is known as RuFraud, and it masquerades as free versions of games, wallpapers, and other small apps like a horoscope viewer. Even after removal, new versions have been reappearing in the Android Market packaged to look like different apps. When installed, and granted permissions to send text messages, premium short codes are dialed in order to bill the unsuspecting user. So far, only users in Europe and Asia appear vulnerable.
This sort of trojan malware is always going to be around, but as long as Google is quick to remove it from the Market when it appears, and users think and don’t blindly grant permissions to apps that shouldn’t need them, the effects can be minimized.
Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph took to Twitter to remind his followers of the news, and requested that Android owners who have had a brush with malware themselves post their own tales for others to read. Full details of the promotion aren’t available, but it looks like the best story will win its owner a new Windows Phone. We suppose that’s one way to avoid malware issues with Android.