Fake Gmail App DDspy Swipes Personal Data

Android is fast becoming a prime target for malware, with stealthy fake Gmail app DDspy one of the latest discoveries. DDspy can record text and sms messages, outgoing calls, and voicemail.

It would seem a fake Gmail app would be easy to spot with a click glance at your app icons, but DDspy creates no icon upon installation. Instead, it chooses to hide away in your applications list and can only be found by reviewing the list, or with the help of an anti-malware program, says NQ Security researchers.

This clever app cloaks its actions and location, waiting for instruction via SMS or a remote server. There’s been no word on who might be working behind the scenes to steal data from unsuspecting users.

NQ researchers also expect the malware app to eventually extend its reach into GPS data, based on thier findings.

The DDspy find comes one day after researchers Jon Oberheide and Charlie Miller found a way to get around Bouncer, Google’s app analysis filter that’s designed to detect malware and other known threats.

The pair submitted apps to Google Play that should have been detected and bounced out, but Bouncer failed to detect them. Bouncer’s inner workings are not published to keep malware writers from gaming the system to avoid detection. Oberheide and Miller reported thier findings, fully expecting Google to harden the Bounce system against real apps and malware developers. Hopefully, they’re taking a look at it.

While it’s true Android was built for security, social engineering and clever cloaking can defeat the system and allow malware to steal personal data or disrupt other services. Google’s Bouncer system is good, but it requires constant attention to keep current with malware trends.

Ironically, malware detection for Android was considered overly cautious by some power users and developers in the past. Now that Android has become a big target for bad guys, malware protection is starting to sound like a good idea (especially for the typical user). Has Android gone the way of Windows in terms of malware targeting? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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