Sara Yin, for PC Magazine:
The Trojan ‘Android.Counterclank’ was packaged in at least 13 free games published by three different publishers, making it harder to trace. Symantec notified Google on Thursday and at press time, 9 of the apps were still available in Google’s official app store.
According to Symantec researcher Irfan Asrar, ‘Counterclank’ can carry out commands from a remote control center on your mobile device. According to Symantec’s virus definition, it steals information and can potentially display ads on your device.
The knee-jerk response to these alerts is that you only get malware when you download sketchy files, but this trojan was discovered in a number of very popular titles. Creating a greater problem is the decrease in people’s inhibitions about downloading apps due to the proliferation of these stores.
It’s utterly ridiculous that Google doesn’t have measures in place to prevent this, leaving it up to the user to figure out when it’s too late. It’s equally absurd that the first recommended thing to do after buying an Android phone is to install antivirus software.