Hugh Pickens writes writes "CNN reports that Google has pulled 21 free apps from the Android Market that, according to the company, are aimed at gaining root access to the user's device, gathering a wide range of available data, and downloading more code without the user's knowledge. Unfortunately although Google has moved swiftly to remove the apps, they have already been downloaded by at least 50,000 Android users. The apps are all pirated versions of popular games and utilities which once downloaded, root the user's device using a method like rageagainstthecage, then use an Android executable file (APK) to nab user and device data, such as your mobile provider and user ID, and finally act as a wide-open backdoor for your device to quietly download more malicious code. 'If you've downloaded one of these apps, it might be best to take your device to your carrier and exchange it for a new one, since you can't be sure that your device and user information is truly secure,' writes Jolie O'Dell. 'Considering how much we do on our phones — shopping and mobile banking included — it's better to take precautions.'"