RootSmart Malware: Is Google’s Bouncer Up to Par?

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Some Android phones are, despite Google’s best efforts, still vulnerable to the newly discovered RootSmart malware. Is your smartphone protected against this malicious code?

Older versions of Android on phones and tablets may be vulnerable to viruses: Image by zinglife

Bouncer and Google Phone Security

Google recently publicized the use of ‘Bouncer’ to screen Android apps for viruses. This new security program scans all apps in the marketplace for code that matches snippets of known malware, as well as monitoring phones for unusual activity that might indicate malware infection.

Bouncer has actually been in use for some time, according to Google, but was just announced officially on February 2, 2012. The next day, however, a North Carolina University professor announced that he and his research team had identified a new strain of malware called RootSmart, which has the power to bypass Bouncer.

RootSmart Sneaks Around Bouncer

As its name indicates, this is an intelligently-designed bit of malware, and is perfectly designed to avoid a system such as Bouncer. Instead of including the actual root exploit code, which is known and could be picked up in a scan, RootSmart only contains enough code to enable to software to download Gingerbreak (the root exploit malware) automatically when the user makes an outgoing call or performs another action set as a trigger within the code. So, what’s an Android user to do?

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