a huge android botnet is spamming the planet with industrial scale volumes of spam.

Have you noticed a bunch of new spam “Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android”? Yup, there is an Android botnet operating in the wild and, according to a Microsoft anti-spam engineer, those enslaved Android smartphones and tablets are producing spam on an “industrial scale.”

The Verge is reporting the perhaps inevitable news that a huge Android botnet is spewing vast quantities of spam. Apparently, the majority of the zombie Android smartphones are located in the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe.

“I am betting that the users of those phones downloaded some malicious Android app in order to avoid paying for a legitimate version and they got more than they bargained for,” writes Terry Zink on the MSDN blog. “Either that or they acquired a rogue Yahoo Mail app.”

Zink reminds users that apps downloaded from Google’s official Play marketplace are extremely unlikely to be affected. For its part, The Verge notes that smartphones running Android 2.3 Gingerbread are commonly targeted by hackers.

So, Android users, only download apps from Google Play and, if you can, get a phone running a new(er) version of Android to avoid becoming part of the Android botnet.

Needless to say, you won’t run into this kind of crap on the iPhone. Granted, someone will figure it out someday, but living in Apple’s walled garden does have tangible advantages.

What’s your take?

Image Antrax Labs