Though there are similar spy tools for Android, iPhone and other mobile devices, "what's unique about Tap Snake is that it doesn't declare what it is when you register the game," Sullivan said, "You put in the e-mail, you put in the keycode it starts to do the spy work," without any notice, he said.
Though the Trojan allows for pretty intrusive tracking, the risk to users is somewhat mitigated because the program requires the attacker to have physical access to an Android. Even so, users would do well to password protect their phones, Sullivan said. A Google spokesman downplayed the warnings, saying the concerns relating to the applications were being overstated.
They can also view ratings and reviews to help decide which applications they choose to install. We consistently advise users to only install apps they trust," the spokesman said.
Android game app conceals GPS tracker
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. His e-mail address is jvijayan computerworld. Jaikumar Vijayan is a freelance technology writer specializing in computer security and privacy topics.
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Sign In Register. Sign Out Sign In Register. In addition, Android notifies users which features of their handset an installed app wishes to access, theoretically making it simple to spot when an app is not what it seems to be.
The Symantec advisory marks the second time in a week that the safety of Android software has been called into question. Last week, fellow software maker Kaspersky Labs identified an SMS Trojan for the open-source OS that was found sending messages from infected mobiles to premium rate numbers.
Sign up for our daily newsletter Newsletter. Symantec warns about Tap Snake Android game. Martin James News 17 Aug, Read more about: Security.