Symantec has identified multiple publisher IDs on the Android Market that are being used to push out Android.Counterclank. This is a minor modification of Android.Tonclank, a bot-like threat that can receive commands to carry out certain actions, as well as steal information from the device.
For each of these malicious applications, the malicious code has been grafted on to the main application in a package called “apperhand”. When the package is executed, a service with the same name may be seen running on a compromised device. Another sign of an infection is the presence of the Search icon above on the home screen.
The combined download figures of all the malicious apps indicate that Android.Counterclank has the highest distribution of any malware identified so far this year.
Symantec is continuing with further investigation and we will post more information as we discover it.