Monday, March 7, 2011

Google Uses Remote Kill Switch, Secures Compromised Handsets [Updated]

According to a new report from Boy Genius Report, Google has used the remote kill switch feature in the Android operating system to kill and remove malware installed on Android phones.
"To try and fix the problem, Google has started using a remote kill switch feature in Android to wirelessly nuke those installed apps on user’s handsets. That’s not the entire story, though, as Google is actually installing new code in the process. The new code undoes the exploit and prevents your data from being shared, and it’s kind of creepy to plainly see how much control Google has over your Android phone from afar. "
I'm glad to see that Google is using their powers for good.  Earlier uses of the kill switch angered users, if not make them a bit paranoid that Google has a back door into their devices.  But I have to wonder, shouldn't Google have done a better job of curating their Android Market and have prevented these apps from becoming available for download in the first place.

Regardless of whether or not you believe the Android platform and the Android Market is any more or less "open" and the Apple iOS platform and the App Store, it is up to us, the consumer, to make sure we know and understand what software we are installing on our devices.

Update

ComputerWorld has posted an article covering this issue online, stating:
"Last Wednesday, Google removed more than 50 infected apps published by three different developers from its marketplace, but didn't trigger automatic uninstalls until several days later."
You can read the full article on the ComputerWorld website.
[Via BGR.com...]
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