SMS trojan targets Android users in eight western countries

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Nov 25, 2011

Will another piece of mobile malware convince Google manager of the seriousness of the threat?

Researchers at Kaspersky have discovered an SMS trojan for Android phones that targets users in eight western countries.

This trojan, which masquerades as an SMS monitoring app, gives an error message upon being launched, suggesting that it is incompatible with the Android version being used. Meanwhile, in the background it sends SMS messages to premium rate numbers operated by the crooks, who thus steal money from the phone's owner. Such pieces of mobile malware are far from new - however, hitherto they had mostly been seen in Russia and China.

The trojan has a second component, which acts on incoming messages from certain numbers and hide these from the user. This is used to give the attackers insight into the number of premium messages sent from the phone.

While few security researchers will be surprised by yet another Android trojan, it is possible Google's Open Source Programs Manager Chris DiBone will be. In a recent post on his Google+ page, he claimed that the threat from "viruses" for mobile phones is vastly exaggerated, calling companies selling malware protection for mobile devices "charlatans and scammers" and adding that their employees "should be ashamed of [themselves]".

The accusation that the threat from mobile malware is exaggerated is not new. In 2008 G DATA's Dirk Hochstrate said that "to some it might seem as if the security industry is more interested in making money than in providing real protection". However, given the enormous rise in mobile malware in general and that targeting Android in particular, it is hardly surprising DiBona's comments led to fierce reactions from security experts.

More on the SMS trojan at Kaspersky's SecureList blog here. A reaction to DiBona's post by Trend Micro's Rik Ferguson here with another one from ESET's David Harley on a personal blog here.

Posted on 25 November 2011 by Virus Bulletin

 Tags

trojan sms android
twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper: Office bugs on the rise

At VB2018 Sophos researcher Gábor Szappanos provided a detailed overview of Office exploit builders, and looked in particular at the widely exploited CVE-2017-0199. Today we publish his paper and release the video of his presentation.

VB2018 video: The Big Bang Theory by APT-C-23

Today, we release the video of the VB2018 presentation by Check Point researcher Aseel Kayal, who connected the various dots relating to campaigns by the APT-C-23 threat group.

VB2019 London - join us for the most international threat intelligence conference!

VB calls on organisations and individuals involved in threat intelligence from around the world to participate in next year's Virus Bulletin conference.

VB2018 paper: Tracking Mirai variants

Today, we publish the VB2018 paper by Qihoo 360 researchers Ya Liu and Hui Wang, on extracting data from variants of the Mirai botnet to classify and track variants.

VB2018 paper: Hide'n'Seek: an adaptive peer-to-peer IoT botnet

2018 has seen an increase in the variety of botnets living on the Internet of Things - such as Hide'N'Seek, which is notable for its use of peer-to-peer for command-and-control communication. Today, we publish the VB2018 paper by Bitdefender…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.