Security vendors are warning Android users following the discovery of a new malware variant for the Google smartphone platform.
F-Secure said in a recent posting that it had discovered a version of the infamous DroidDream malware targeting users of the Android Market service.
F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen said that the malware package is a re-bundled version of an application called Hot Girls 1.
The attacker has taken the application, which offers racy photos of women, and repackaged it with the attack code.
The application then gains access to the network connection, call and text features of the infected Android handset, which then dials back to a central server, creating what Hyppönen classifies as a "mobile botnet".
"This application was originally harmless," he explained. "However, a malicious developer called 'Magic Photo Studio' downloaded the original application, modified it and re-uploaded it to Android Market."
While no specific comment on the report was given, Google has acknowledged removing malware from the online store.
"We've suspended a number of suspicious applications from Android Market and are continuing to investigate them," a Google spokesperson told V3.co.uk.
Growth in mobile malware has been among the top trends spotted by security researchers in recent months. Android in particular has been hit by high-profile issues such as DroidDream and various other suspicious applications which continue to circulate on unofficial marketplace sites.
McAfee Labs principal engineer Adam Wosotowsky told V3.co.uk last week that the emergence of smartphones as general computing devices is luring many malware writers to the mobile space.
"Obviously as more people do more things through their phones, it is going to be a better place to attack," he said.
Wosotowsky warned that, in addition to attacks such as password and account theft, mobile malware infections are also being used for operations such as auto-dialling premium numbers.
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