It seems that it’s not just malware authors who like the look of Android apps for delivery of their wares. Spammers are getting in on the act too.
Spammers are taking existing apps, cloning them, adding an advertising “module” and then republishing them to apps stores.
The apps do not contain malware, and in all other respects are full-functional, and available for free, however, they are mostly being redistributed without the permission of the original application author, which represents intellectual property theft.
Researchers at F-Secure have noted (via Help Net Security) that there have been a rash of these types of “Spam” App being posted on the Android Market recently, and the problem is only likely to increase over time as Spammers and scammers try to find new ways to generate income as the legal world starts to catch up with their activities in the email domain. It may take a while for both Google and the legal world to catch up with this new way of making money for the spammers.