Computer researchers are warning Android users of yet another malware campaign targeted at the platform, this time appearing to circumnavigate traditional anti-virus filters.
North Carolina State University researchers Xuxian Jiang and Yajin Zhou identified at least two applications in over eight third-party app stores and forums based in China infected with the DroidKungFu malware.
The malware mainly affects Android 2.2, exploiting two vulnerabilities to install a back door on a victim's device which allows hackers to take complete control, according to a post on the university's official blog.
"Previously identified malware, such as DroidDream, has also taken advantage of these two vulnerabilities. But Jiang and Zhou think DroidKungFu is different because, based on the early results of their research, it does a better job of avoiding detection by security software," the blog noted.
"And, while later versions of Android have patched these vulnerabilities, they aren't entirely secure. The security patches severely limit DroidKungFu, but it is still able to collect some user data - such as your mobile phone device ID number - and send them to a remote site."
The researchers are currently speaking to anti-virus software companies about the problem, and recommended users to follow best practice guidelines on mobile security.
These include downloading apps only from a trustworthy store, checking permissions before installing, and ensuring that security on the device is up to date.
New malware variants targeted at Android are appearing all the time, taking advantage of the relatively open ecosystem Google has encouraged which means little or no security checks before an app is certified for the platform.
Just last week, security experts warned of the return of the DroidDream malware which can turn devices into part of a 'mobile botnet'.
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