Today, they have announced that the programs in question do not actually contain malware.
Symantec’s Kevin Haley describes what Counterclank does:
In general, it’s changing the home page of the [smartphone's] browser, adding additional shortcuts to the desktop, adding and even removing bookmarks. … It took a while for some consensus then about what was adware or spyware, and what wasn’t, but eventually that consensus was reached.
They came to the consensus that Counterclank is not malicious, but he did offer this somewhat ominous warning:
We’re going to see app vendors experiment with how to monetize their apps on Android phones, more so on mobile than on the PC, because mobile apps are sold at very inexpensive prices or given away for free. It’s understandable that we’ll see some pushing the boundaries, or even going beyond them.
So the software isn’t spying on you but it is messing with settings that have nothing to do with the programs that are installed – sneaky but not malicious. My personal feeling is that if it doesn’t allow you to opt-out of the browser setting change then it should not be allowed. Whether it is aggressive adware or spyware, you probably don’t want it on your system.
Apps that are known to contain Counterclank are sold by the following publishers: iApps7, Ogre Games and redmicapps.
- Counter Elite Force
- Counter Strike Ground Force
- CounterStrike Hit Enemy
- Heart Live Wallpaper
- Hit Counter Terrorist
- Stripper Touch girl
- Balloon Game
- Deal & Be Millionaire
- Wild Man
- Pretty women lingerie puzzle
- Sexy Girls Photo Game
- Sexy Girls Puzzle
- Sexy Women Puzzle