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Symantec recants Android malware claims

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 2, 2012
Symantec has backtracked from assertions that 13 Android apps distributed by Google's Android Market were malicious. It now says the code in question comes from an aggressive ad network that provides revenue to the smartphone programs.

"This is an inevitable discussion on mobile," said Haley. "We're going to see app vendors experiment with how to monetize their apps on Android phones, more so on mobile than on the PC, because mobile apps are sold at very inexpensive prices or given away for free. It's understandable that we'll see some pushing the boundaries, or even going beyond them."

Symantec said it reported the 13 apps with the Android.Counterclank code to Google, but that Google said the apps did not violate any of its policies, and would remain in the Android Market.

"We expect in the future there may be many similar situations where we will inform users about an application, but the application will remain in the Google Android Market," Symantec noted.

Google has declined to comment on Symantec's original malware claims or on the counter-arguments made by Lookout Security.


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