A recent report from Lookout Mobile Security, says that it has identified a new trojan virus that could infect Android phones. This doesn’t currently affect any apps for android on the Android Market, but it’s primarily from a few android apps from China. The virus has been named Geinimi.
The significance of this new virus is that it’s the first discovered to exhibit botnet type abilities. If a phone is infected with this trojan, it can compromise the data on the phone. Additionally they have observed that the trojan has the ability to download and prompt the user of the phone to install an app, prompt the user to uninstall an app, plus send a listing of what is already install on the device to the server. So far it cannot do either of those without a confirmation from the user of the device, but the authors of this app have really raised the bar.
The android apps that were noticed to be carrying the trojan included repackaged versions of the following apps sold in China: Monkey Jump 2, Sex Positions, President vs Aliens, City Defense and Baseball Superstars 2010.
The good news so far is that none of the apps have made it to the Google Android Market and the original games listed above are safe from there.
To protect yourself, be sure to only download apps from trusted locations. It’s also a good idea to check the permissions when an app is installed. And if your phone starts behaving oddly it could be infected: apps being installed without you knowing, SMS messages being sent out to unknown people and phone calls without you doing it.
There are antivirus products available for the Android phone. Lookout Mobile Security provides both a free and paid version of their application, which has been updated to include this latest virus.