Yesterday, the Android market had 21 applications pulled by Google and force-removed from users' devices due to them containing an exploit called 'rageagainstthecage'. And while Google successfully and quickly pulled the software from the market and from devices ("kill switch"), those 21 apps were downloaded over 50,000 times (bigger market, bigger target).
It was bound to happen. We've been bombarded for years about the threat of computer viruses, exploits, Trojans, etc. and if there was ever a viable target today, Android would be it. It has an open market (no approval processes), huge market share and one heck of a hacker community. How serious is the exploit? Our sister site Android Central says:
Mind you, all 21 apps were uploaded by one person. Going further, Android Police, who originally broke the story says
Egads. While we hope nothing too nefarious has happened, it goes to show that having a regulated Marketplace, like Windows Phone, where the code is checked for such things can be quite valuable when compared to what Android users are now facing. Will this become a regular occurrence? What will Google do to address the problem? It will be interesting to see in the next couple of days the fallout from this breach.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.