A "number" of apps which were known to report user data that could possibly be used for malicious purposes, have been taken off Android Market, and Google has used its remote kill switch to extinguish them from Android devices they have been already installed on. The Mountain view crowd has also notified the authorities about the evil software creations, in line with its " Do no evil" moto.
While it's a bit creepy that Google, Apple and Microsoft all have kill switches that can intrude in your personal smartphone space, in this case it's for the better.
The apps have been reporting back to the mothership user-specific data: “For affected devices, we believe that the only information the attacker(s) were able to gather was device-specific (IMEI/IMSI, unique codes which are used to identify mobile devices, and the version of Android running on your device),” says Google.
Still, there might have been attempts to get into more personal details, and the Android team says they've patched the vulnerabilities that existed from the Android 2.2.2 version onwards. The type of exploits hackers use is now known, and Google claims it is hard at work to prevent such malicious codes in the future.
Android's kill switch uses the same technology that allows Android Market on the web to push apps wirelessly to your device.