TaintDroid Tattles on Misbehaving Android Apps

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Looks like TaintDroid just stole the Worst Recent Product Name award away from the Dell Streak. Once you get past the name, though, TaintDroid (that’s hard to type, even) may turn out to be a valuable app for Android owners.

It’s not quite available publicly yet, but the application will run in the background of an Android phone and alert users when another Android app sends their personal information off to a remote location somewhere.

The TaintDroid press release gives the example someone thumbing through a seemingly innocent free wallpaper application and getting an alert that says, "Taint: Phone Number, IMEI, ICCID (sim card identifier)" followed by a report indicating that the user’s personal information that’s been stored on the phone has been sent to a website somewhere in China. Scary stuff.

The team behind TaintDroid is comprised of students and advisers from Duke University and Penn State University. They will be presenting their findings at a conference in Vancouver, BC, next week and "plans to make TaintDroid publicly available to continue to improve smartphone application monitoring," though no availability date has been established yet.

Here’s a look at the app in action:

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