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Android “malware” turned out to be benign

by Kristen Nicole

Consumers got a lesson in malware safety this week when Symantec and Lookout security companies presented different perspectives on “Android.Counterclank.” Symantec identified the string of apps as malware, but Lookout insisted the apps weren’t malicious but merely annoying adware Trojans. After several days of debating the semantics of malware, Symantec retracted its original statement, falling in line with Lookout’s assessment after all.

In a blog posted by Symantec, researchers noted that “Android.Counterclank” was a variation of “Android.TonClank,” a Trojan dubbed Plankton by researchers at North Carolina State University that set off alarms last summer. But what about the false alarm this time around? It’s little help to consumers when two security companies disagree on how mobile software should be classified.

“There’s always going to be disagreements about the definition of malware since it can be contextual,” says Tim Wyatt, Principle Engineer of Lookout in an emailed statement. “However, this was an example of a security company classifying something as malware, when it really isn’t. Sounding an alarm like this is difficult for consumers. It generates unneeded worry and fear and a distrust for security companies.”

Android users most likely to give it up on the first night

We’ve also been learning quite a bit about Android users lately. For instance, Android owners are the most likely smartphone users to use their device while sitting on the pot. And not only are Android users indiscriminate in the bathroom, but in the bedroom as well. A recent survey from Match.com indicates that Android owners are most likely to give it up after a first date. Sixty-two percent of Android owners say they’ve had sex after one date, compared to 57 percent of iPhone users. And forget about BlackBerry owners – at 48 percent, they’re too busy messaging to get busy in bed.

Well, let’s take this as a reminder to all smartphone users to wash your hands after using the restroom, and take protection on a first date with other smartphone users.