Malicious Olympic 2012 Android apps spotted

The Olympic Games currently underway in London have proven to be one of the best lures for cyber scammers and other cyber crooks: we’ve had Olympic-themed spam emails carrying malicious PDFs, bogus Olympics ticket sites, Olympic-themed lottery scams, we’ve seen that 80 percent of domains containing the string “olympics” are set up by scammers, and have witnessed even fake warnings about Olympic-themed scams that carried malware being sent out.

And now we can add Olympic-themed malicious Android app to that list.

Webroot researchers have recently spotted an app that supposedly shows users aggregated 2012 Olympics news, but also harvests their contacts list, reads their text messages, and collects information about the device’s ID and location.

The app is called “London Olympics Widget”, and has a digital certificate claiming it was developed in New Delhi, India, making it pretty obvious that it’s not the official London 2012 mobile app.

“Obviously an app for Olympic news does not need all of the above functionality to show you who won the last gold medal,” Webroot points out and advises users to employ the practice of least privilege. “If an app that changes your background wallpaper wants access to your contact list, Twitter and Facebook account you should probably reconsider its use.”

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