Is Google SPAMMING Android Users?

Internet security experts who wrote that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices had been hacked into and used to send spam emails said they may have been mistaken about the claim. Google has already disputed the claims of researchers from security company Sophos and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

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Botnets usually use infected PCs to generate spam, but Microsoft engineer Terry Zink said he had found evidence that Android smartphones were being used in the same way. A “spammer has control of a botnet that lives on Android devices,” Zink wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. However, in a follow-up post, Zink conceded that the security compromise had not been proven and that it was “entirely possible” that spammers had faked the message formatting.

Google had already released a statement saying there was no evidence to support the claims. “The evidence we’ve examined does not support the Android botnet claim,” the company said in a statement. “Our analysis so far suggests that spammers are using infected computers and a fake mobile signature to try to bypass anti-spam mechanisms in the email platform they’re using. We’re continuing to investigate the details.”

Mobile security specialist Lookout was also doubtful of Zink’s first claim. Lookout head Kevin Mahaffey wrote in a blog post that while it was possible that the spam was originating from lots of Android phones infected with a malicious program, further investigations had found issues with the Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) Mail app for Android.

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