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Mysterious App Called “Souper Android Development” Invades DROID 3 Phones, Google Remotely Removes It?

  

A number of our readers with DROID 3 phones (and one Incredible owner) along with various forums, are reporting that a mysterious app showed up as installed on their phones within the last day or two. At one point the app carried a person’s name, like “Brett Henderson” and “Timothy Milla,” but changed today to “Souper Android Development.” The troubling part of this story is that the app can not be uninstalled, doesn’t even show as an installed app, and no one can explain how it got there in the first place.

We aren’t sure at this time what exactly this app is capable of or if it is in fact malicious, but a name-changing, uninstallable app certainly shouldn’t excite you. Also, as you can tell from the screenshots, our tipster is rooted, so there is a chance this app made it’s way onto his phone by taking advantage of that. However, this seems to be widespread enough that it could have happened through other means and not just on rooted phones. We are still trying to find out if this app made its way onto non-rooted phones. 

In potentially good news though, Google may have flexed their power to remove apps remotely from affected users’ phones. One of our tipsters finally sent over the Play link to this app (which in name references a Motorola Contacts app, aka a system app) and we noticed that it had been removed (or was never there?). So we then asked for him to check his installed apps to see if “Souper Android Development” remained and he confirmed that it is no longer on his phone or at least showing up as an installed app. Talk about confusing.

Update:  After reading more forum posts than any man should across the interwebs, many are suggesting that it could be just a Google Play error and is not anything to worry about. We will update this post should we hear anything back. For now, let’s not assume that this app is malicious. We have also tweaked the title of this post as to not alarm the hell out of everyone.

We have reached out to some contacts to see if we can get additional information.

In the mean time, be sure to drop us a line in the comments if you were or are still affected by this rogue app.

Cheers Audie, Andrew and everyone else!

  • martinkaden

    Android applications consist of different components and can re-use components of other applications, if these applications declare their components as available. This leads to the concept of a task in Android; an application can re-use other Android components to archive a task.

     

  • Scott

    Is there a scan that is locating this?

  • Josh

    It disappeared from my Droid 3.   It was there yesterday, but not this morning.
     
    However, Google’s Play Store app remains at the same ver, 3.5.15.

  • Tzoller

    Showed up on my wife’s Droid X

  • http://infotainmentempire.blogspot.com Rob

    I wish ICS would invade my Droid 3 overnight. But alas, that will not happen.

  • Ariel

    It was on my phone as well. Killed the battery in an hour and made my phone overheat to the point where it turned itself off. Tthe touch screen is basically unresponsive at this point.

    Spent literally all day on the phone w verizon. They said they would send me a new 3 but they were suddenly out of stock. They could send me the incredable 2. Said no thanks I can’t use it (nerve issues in my hand) got back basically take it or good bye.

    Spoke to a manager and asked why I would be getting a crap phone. Her answer was because I’ve never had a 4G phone before they can’t send me one now….?

    They then said that I would have to PAY full price for a new phone even though this app killed my phone. Why should I pay for something I didn’t install?! If I did it myself, fine. But I didn’t!

    Managed to get another manager who said I could trade in my phone and get a pre owned but then I would be phoneless for up to 2 weeks. Not happening.

    They offered me the rhyme as a ‘back up for now’ the tech lied to me and said it was dual core, 8mp camera, keyboard etc. I went online and found out everything he was saying was a lie.

    I’m so pissed. Why do they feel they can treat us like this?! Time to stand against verizon! I’m ready to go elsewhere.

  • big_Stefano

    Swicth to Windows Phone! No crap like this is ever installed on our phones. In fact, it is virtually impossible to get malware like this installed on the phone.
    Once you get tired of this dull, iOS rip-off UI, you know what to do. It’s never too late

    • Velopirate

      Hilarious.

  • http://twitter.com/Rotkaeqpchen Ulf

    I also had this app installed on my Droid 3. I recovered a backup and scanned my phone with avast, but nothing malicious was found. phew. :)

  • Mecevans

    Keep getting this on any app i try to install on my droid razr. Just started doing it an hour ago.

    “Could not be downloaded due to an error (921)”

  • Laid98

    It attacked my Droid 3 and im not rooted and the mess up thing the verizon technician actually hung the phone up on me when I was trying to tell him about it he was like never heard of it good day and my phone just went out but it drained the battery horribly in like a hour from fully charged

  • feztheforeigner

    Never been happier with my nearly-stock Nexus!

  • Brett Henderson

    Hi, I am brett henderson. My developer account was compromised and this was placed in my account. Please spread the news.

  • Audie

    I noticed a huge battery life difference while this was on my phone.  Past couple days my battery wouldn’t last past 4 hours even with little to no use. Today after the app was taken off I seem back to normal, day is half over and still at 70%.  Is it possible that my phone was trying to update or download something the whole time?

    • snowblind64

      If the app was malware it may have been sending and receiving data. That would explain the added battery drain. Perhaps part of a bot-net or the like.

      • Noyfb

        4 hours and the battery was dead, means the app was running the whole time non stop, like he was using his browser the whole time, not good, not good. better keep an eye on accounts.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ab-Gar/538974072 Ab Gar

          this is exactly why speedy updates from the manufacturer are a must. i havt heard of any 4.0 devices effected by this. it does sound like it was data mining or transfering something.
          i hope google has something to say about what type (if any) information could have been compromised.

    • Josh

      I had the same excessive battery drain too, but attributed it to the GPS being on constantly.

  • http://www.erictate.com/ Eric Tate

    Same thing happened on some HTC phones the other day and it turned out that it was a Google Play mistake that was mistakenly detecting and linking to Teeter (the built-in ball rolling game). Could be a similar mistake.

  • Jake

    Something similar started happening to Samsung phones a couple of days ago. I read about it on an Android site that I can’t remember now. In Samsung’s case, an app was put on Google Play Store that coincidentally had the same name as an app that Samsung pre-installs on its Android phones as part of TouchWiz. Because they shared the same name, the apk was “auto-updated”, meaning it actually installed the app on the Play Store that had the same name as the pre-installed Samsung app. The app was uninstallable. Since Samsung’s pre-installed app isn’t on the Play Store, Google couldn’t catch the duplicate package name. This is a potential Android exploit made worse by OEM skins.

    • Jake

      Okay, found the link on the Verge. Someone posted it below, too. According to Google, the uninstallable app isn’t actually installed on the phone; it simply appears in the My Apps section of the Play Store, because it uses the same App ID as another app on the phone.

  • Anon

    It was a Google Play error.  It was a garbage app that was mistakenly linked to the contacts system app.  It never had a trace of anything on the phone.  So Google didn’t actually have to do anything to our phones to remove it, just fix the market issue.

    • Josh

      However, the Google Play Store app didn’t change versions.   If Google fixed something, it wasn’t with their Play Store app.

  • http://twitter.com/Carpatus James Cox

    They removed it…but it was SOUPER!!!!!

    All jokes aside, I really hope Google finds out how the app got there in the first place. I would like to not have to check my phone every 5 minutes to make sure I don’t have an unknown app on there. Not only that, if the app was somehow remotely put on without the user knowing, who’s to say that the person who did this wouldn’t be able to do a fake update to an existing app and push it to your phone without your knowledge.

    • big_Stefano

       Get a Windows Phone: no need to worry about checking your phone every 5 mins.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Papasmurf8314 Michael Carter Gibson

        Ummm…no

  • superdry

    A strange korean app called Two Stars appeared on people’s Transformer Prime – talked about over at XDA.  Supposedly, that app opens up Polaris Office – possibly some bug going on when Google switched over to Play.

    Now, some people are reporting it disappeared.  Strange.

  • DJ

    Sounds like somebody was trying out the theory about apk’s with the same package name as system apps that aren’t available in the market auto updating no matter who signs it…

  • WindowsPhone

     Windows Phone

    @windowsphone

      the @Nokia Lumia 900 is up against the Galaxy S II in @LAPTOPMag ‘s Smartphone Madness. You know what to do. http://newwp.it/HhIqjA

  • Jak_341

    Reason 1,243,496 not to have a crummy UI on your phone.

    Nexus or nothing.

    • http://twitter.com/Rotkaeqpchen Ulf

      This has anything to do with the UI? … Nexus or nothing? … Lol, … THERE IS AN ANDROID PHONE FOR EVERYBODY!

    • big_Stefano

       Amen, brother. Let’s get this Android thing annihilated!

      Windows Phone 4ever!

  • http://twitter.com/gamenahd Will P
  • Michael_NM

    7 people gave it 5 stars. They should be immediately removed from the Android community.

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