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Microsoft gives free Windows Phones to Android virus targets

updated 11:35 pm EST, Mon December 12, 2011

Company takes dig at Google for platform security

Microsoft has offered to provide free Windows Phone 7 devices to individuals affected by malware targeted at Android devices. The promotion takes a dig at Google amid reports that the search giant was forced to remove 22 more Android Market titles that were found to contain malicious code.

"Share your Android malware story (there's lots going around) and you could win a #windowsphone upgrade," said Microsoft's Ben Rudolph in a Twitter post, which used the hashtag #DroidRage.

Mobile security company Lookout recently uncovered several groups of malicious Android apps that use code, known as RuFraud, that targets customers in Europe, Asia and other markets outside of North America. The apps were designed to send SMS messages to premium numbers, essentially placing fraudulent charges on users' cellphone bills.

Other security firms have issued reports suggesting Google's mobile platform is experiencing a significant uptick in threats. Juniper Global Threat Center suggests Android has been hit with a 472-percent jump in viruses, trojans and other malware since July.

Researchers claim Google's platform may prove more vulnerable than its competitors due to the company's relaxed screening procedures, which have enabled malicious titles to arrive on the market rather than being blocked before listing.

by MacNN Staff



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