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Oh my, things just keep on getting worse and worse if you’re an Android user who’s concerned about security. It’s the one thing that fans of more closed systems such as iOS and the App Store will always throw at those who favor open – security can never be as tight.

Now a new potential security scare has befallen Android users, with Symantec claiming that thirteen applications from three developers could be collecting data and performing tasks without the knowledge of the users who have installed them.

Symantec, speaking to ComputerWorld, shared that the apps have been available for download for over a month, with some available via the Android Market, Google’s version of the App Store.

Androdi Antivirus

More worrying is the fact that Symantec believes that up to five million devices could potentially be running the apps, with malicious chunks of code – dubbed Android.Counterclank – being run on them all.

If Symantec’s numbers are accurate then this could easily be Android’s biggest security risk to date, and that is saying something.

The apps of risk have been released by three developers: iApps7, Ogre Games and redmicapps with Symantec, probably accurately, believing that the three exist solely to distribute malware to unsuspecting Android users.

The apps to keep an eye out for are:

  • Counter Elite Force
  • Counter Strike Ground Force
  • CounterStrike Hit Enemy
  • Heart Live Wallpaper
  • Hit Counter Terrorist
  • Stripper Touch girl
  • Balloon Game
  • Deal & Be Millionaire
  • Wild Man
  • Pretty women lingerie puzzle
  • Sexy Girls Photo Game
  • Sexy Girls Puzzle
  • Sexy Women Puzzle

One user of "Deal & Be Millionaire" seems to have noticed something isn’t as it seems, writing a review on the Android Market which suggests strange goings on are afoot.

"The game is decent … but every time you run this game, a ‘search icon gets added randomly to one of your screens," said one user on Jan. 16 after downloading "Deal & Be Millionaire," one of the 13. "I keep deleting the icon, but it always reappears. If you tap the icon you get a page that looks suspiciously like the Google search page."

We’ll have to wait and see whether Google takes action to remove the offending apps and developers from the Android Market. The search giant has done so in the past, and when a company like Symantec starts pointing the finger it would be crazy of Google to not take heed of any warnings.

If you did download one of these apps, then we’d suggest taking steps to get rid of them as soon as possible.

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(via Gizmodo)

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