Update 2: Google has officially acknowledged DroidDream and is taking further steps to correct it. Details can be found here: Google Acknowledges DroidDream: Remotely Wiping Apps, Removing Exploit, Making Changes To Prevent It From Happening Again

Update: For more details on DroidDream, check out out the follow-up post. It includes more information about the virus and how it works, who's to blame, and provides a link to a flashable .ZIP that prevents the virus from working.

Openness - the very characteristic of Android that makes us love it - is a double-edged sword. Redditor lompolo has stumbled upon a perfect example of that fact; he's noticed that a publisher has taken "... 21 popular free apps from the market, injected root exploits into them and republished." The really scary part? "50k-200k downloads combined in 4 days."

Lompolo explains the situation quite well:

Link to publishers apps here. I just randomly stumbled into one of the apps, recognized it and noticed that the publisher wasn't who it was supposed to be.

Super Guitar Solo for example is originally Guitar Solo Lite. I downloaded two of the apps and extracted the APK's, they both contain what seems to be the "rageagainstthecage" root exploit - binary contains string "CVE-2010-EASY Android local root exploit (C) 2010 by 743C". Don't know what the apps actually do, but can't be good.

I appreciate being able to publish an update to an app and the update going live instantly, but this is a bit scary. Some sort of moderation, or at least quicker reaction to malware complaints would be nice.

EDIT: After some dexing and jaxing, the apps seem to be at least posting the IMEI and IMSI codes to, which seems to be located in Fremont, CA.

I asked our resident hacker to take a look at the code himself, and he's verified it does indeed root the user's device via rageagainstthecage or exploid. But that's just the tip of the iceberg: it does more than just yank IMEI and IMSI. There's another APK hidden inside the code, and it steals nearly everything it can: product ID, model, partner (provider?), language, country, and userID. But that's all child's play; the true pièce de résistance is that it has the ability to download more code. In other words, there's no way to know what the app does after it's installed, and the possibilities are nearly endless.

Justin pinged a contact at Google to bring the issue to their attention. In the time I've proofed this post, they've already checked the apps and are planning on pulling them from the Market [Update: holy cheeseballs, they've been pulled already! Took less than 5 minutes from first contact to pull!], as well as remotely removing them from user's devices. Unfortunately, that doesn't remove any code that's already been backdoored in.

Let's hope they're quick to react - this is the ultimate Android Trojan to date, and it's already been downloaded over 50,000 times.

Feel free to discuss this over at Droid Forums, or via the comments below.

Update: The publisher's been removed entirely from the market, so you can no longer see the list of apps. Luckily, I managed to grab a few screenshots last night. There's been a ton of response to this, and we've been contacted by a few big dogs. Justin is also working on a removal tool. I'll be doing a follow-up post this evening.


guitar_solo_lite super_guitar_solo

Left: the real app. Right: Myournet's virused-up version.

The offending apps from publisher Myournet:

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • 下坠滚球_Falldown
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • 躲避弹球
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • 几何战机_PewPew
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man
  • 蜘蛛侠

Over 30 more have been found by Lookout:

  • owling Time
  • Advanced Barcode Scanner
  • Supre Bluetooth Transfer
  • Task Killer Pro
  • Music Box
  • Sexy Girls: Japanese
  • Sexy Legs
  • Advanced File Manager
  • Magic Strobe Light
  • 致命绝色美腿
  • 墨水坦克Panzer Panic
  • 裸奔先生Mr. Runner
  • 软件强力卸载
  • Advanced App to SD
  • Super Stopwatch & Timer
  • Advanced Compass Leveler
  • Best password safe
  • 掷骰子
  • 多彩绘画
  • Finger Race
  • Piano
  • Bubble Shoot
  • Advanced Sound Manager
  • Magic Hypnotic Spiral
  • Funny Face
  • Color Blindness Test
  • Tie a Tie
  • Quick Notes
  • Basketball Shot Now
  • Quick Delete Contacts
  • Omok Five in a Row
  • Super Sexy Ringtones
  • 大家来找茬
  • 桌上曲棍球
  • 投篮高手