December 14, 2011
Microsoft Gives Away Free Phones To Angry Android Users
Google recently removed 22 applications from its Android Market on the suspicion that they were malware. The questionable applications were found by Lookout, a security firm, and targeted users in Europe by exploiting premium SMS fraud services that cost users money.
Lookout wrote in a blog post, “The initial batch appeared as horoscope apps with a fairly hidden ToS [terms of service] indicating charges. The initial application activity presents the user with a single option to continue, which is presumed to be an agreement to premium charges that are buried within layers of less than clear links.”
Some of the apps that were removed from the market looked to be legitimate, such as a downloader for the game Angry Birds. Google responded quickly to the rogue applications and only a few people were infected by the malware.
In response to this latest round of malware attacks, Microsoft Executive Ben Rudolph is giving away five Windows Phone 7 devices to frustrated Android phone users. The giveaway consists of enraged Android users posting to Ben´s Twitter page (@BenThePCGuy) their most frustrating stories of malware infection. Contestants have to include the #droidrage hashtag in their posting.
One user responded with the message, “When you get key-logged on Android and they steal both of your email accounts”. Another said, “My whole Samsung phone is malware.”
Some users are suspicious of this latest Microsoft ploy. Microsoft has its own history of creating computer operating systems that are easily infected with malware.
Graham Cluley, a security consultant for the firm Sophos, wrote in a blog post, “I guess it must be kind of thrilling for Microsoft - which has endorsed the #droidrage campaign - to find the malware boot on the other foot for once. After all, they have long suffered having the Windows desktop operating system negatively compared to the likes of Unix and Mac OS X when it comes to the levels of malware infection.”
Microsoft only holds around 5 percent of the U.S. Mobile market, while Android has 45 percent market share.
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