Monday, March 26, 2012

Why is an app named Brett Henderson on our Droid 3s?

Looking through Google Play today to see if there were any apps requiring a manual update, we saw something strange: a greyed out app with the name "Brett Henderson." Drilling down into it, there wasn't any information, but there was also no way to uninstall it, either.

There were plenty of comments that took the basic tone of "WTF is this?" Those comments also seemed to show that the only device affected was the Droid 3.

Not only was there no way to uninstall it from Google Play, looking under Applications in Settings showed no entry for it there either. There was no entry for Brett Henderson as an app in Google Play, but there was an entry there for him as a developer. An email to Henderson went unresponded to.

Although it doesn't seem to have created huge waves on the Internet, yet, people are starting to notice. Some are saying the app was installed when the Android Market on the Droid 3s was updated to Google Play.

It is unclear exactly what, if anything, the entry does. A security researcher looked at our device and could find no unknown services running, nor could it find any traces of strange files, even after rooting the device to check (the device was later unrooted).

AV programs do not detect anything, and a ticket opened at Avast has not been responded to, although a forum post was acknowledged by another user with the same issue.

So, who is Brett Henderson and why is an app with his name on our Droid 3s?

Update: After trying a few things, we cleared the data on the Google Play app. Now we see "Souper Android Development," greyed out and with the same comment list as for "Brett Henderson." There has been no official response from Verizon, Google, or Avast as of yet.

Update 2: Opening up the Google Play app on March 28, we found the "phantom app" gone. As many surmised, it appears to have been some glitch with Google Play.

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