Google flips "kill switch" on 58 malware-infected Android apps

Promises "new safeguards" to improve security
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Google has activated the firm's so-called 'kill switch' on a total of 58 malicious Android applications which had been installed by around 260,000 Android users.

The company has always maintained the ability to undo Android application installations, providing they were installed from the official Android Marketplace. 

The major malware attack, which surfaced last week, is the first major test of the functionality. Google not only uninstalled the applications but pushed out an Android Market security update which was designed to remote any trace of the malicious software.

The malware attack consisted of republished popular applications with embedded malware. The malware was designed to steal user information as well as the potential to download further malicious code.

According to TechCrunch, Google also sent out an email update to affected Android users to explain what would be happening. 

"To ensure this update is run quickly, please make sure that your device is turned on and has a strong network connection," Google told the affected users.

In an update on the Google Mobile Blog, Android security chief Rich Cannings said: "We always encourage you to check the list of permissions when installing an application from Android Market."

Cannings said that the firm is looking to create "new safeguards to help prevent these kinds of attacks from happening in the future."

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