Google will not remove the 13 apps reported by Symantec containing “software development tools” that enable the theft of data because they do not violate Google’s terms of service. Lookout Mobile Security said in a blog post Friday that it doesn’t consider the applications malware, but it does appear to be an “aggresive form” of an ad networking scheme, and should be taken seriously. I would agree with that assessment, simply because it is a new pin on an old tactic, however I would still consider this malware to the extent that spyware was once considered in a similar light. It has proven to be a real problem with real impacts, and has been used in a multitude of nefarious endeavors.
See this SC Magazine article for more coverage and details.