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Google Can Kill Apps Remotely on Android

|June 30 2010 |Android Phones, Mobile Apps, Industry News, Mobile OS, Mobile Security

At a time when developers were whining about Apple's closed non transparent app approval process, Google the savior of the open source world announced that it had removed two applications remotely from Android phones as they had violated terms and conditions laid down by the company for Android market.

In a post on the Android developers blog, Rich Cannings, an Android security lead admitted that the Android market is regulated to some extent and two spy apps that were pretending to serve some other purpose were removed from the market and uninstalled on users' phones through 'remote application removal' feature of the system.

The blog  post says, "The remote application removal feature is one of many security controls Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications. In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users’ safety when needed." The company can also remotely install applications on Android phones.
The two applications in question are believed to be developed by security researcher Jon Oberheide to demonstrate the security loop holes in Google's mobile operating system and were otherwise harm less.. The application posed as one offering download of wallpapers from the upcoming sequel of the movie 'Twilight' but ran some harmless programming code on them through internet access. It is believed that more than 300 users downloaded the app,till google removed them.

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