Virus sends costly messages from Android phones

Aug 11, 2010
A mobile phone using Android phone software is seen at a telecom convention in Las Vegas. Mobile security firm Lookout has warned that a booby-trapped Movie Player application is infecting Android phones in Russia with a virus that sends costly text messages.

Mobile security firm Lookout on Tuesday warned that a booby-trapped Movie Player application is infecting Android phones in Russia with a virus that sends costly text messages.

Russia-based Kaspersky Lab discovered the malicious "Trojan" code hidden in a media player application people are enticed to download onto smartphones.

"The new penetrates smartphones running Android in the guise of a harmless media player application," Kaspersky said in a blog post.

"The Trojan uses the system to begin sending SMSs to premium rate numbers without the owner’s knowledge or consent, resulting in money passing from a user's account to that of the cybercriminals."

The Trojan has apparently only affected handsets operating on Google-backed Android software in Russia.

The Media Player program does ask users to authorize "services that cost you money" prior to installation, according to Lookout, which advised people to protect themselves by refusing to grant such permission.

"With the discovery of this new Trojan, it is more important than ever to pay attention to what you're downloading," Lookout said.

"Stay alert to ensure that you trust every app you download".

Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smartphones tempting new targets for hackers

Jul 30, 2010

Software security experts warn that mobile phones are tempting targets for hackers in a world where people eagerly invite strange applications onto handsets packed with personal data.

How Secure are iPhone and Android Apps

Apr 01, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Today's smartphones are pocket size computers that can be customized by downloading applications. This is what makes a smartphone vulnerable to cybercriminals. In this article we will examine ...

Recommended for you

Samsung phones cleared for US government use

13 hours ago

Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday some of its Galaxy mobile devices were approved by the National Security Agency for use with classified U.S. government networks and data, a boost to the company's efforts to expand in ...

Review: Apple Pay in action

15 hours ago

If there ever comes a day I can ditch my wallet and use my phone to pay for everything, I'll look back to my first purchase through Apple Pay: a Big Mac and medium fries for $5.44. That wallet-free day won't ...

Samsung seeks boost from redesigned Note

15 hours ago

The latest version of Samsung's popular big-screen Galaxy Note has gone on sale at a crucial time for the South Korean company as it suffers a rapid decline in profit from its global smartphone business.

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jayn
Aug 11, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gunslingor1
not rated yet Aug 11, 2010
"Virus sends costly messages from Android phones"

"With the discovery of this new Android Trojan, it is more important than ever to pay attention to what you're downloading," Lookout said.

Well, at least one of you got it right. This is a Trojan, not a Virus as discribed by the article. A Virus needs to be able to self replicate and infect other devices from any other infected device.
CSharpner
not rated yet Aug 11, 2010
Luckily, Android phones tell you that an app wants to send SMS messages before you install ir, giving you the oportunity to bail out and not install.
gunslingor1
not rated yet Aug 12, 2010
I think this trojan disabled that ability.
CSharpner
not rated yet Aug 16, 2010
I think this trojan disabled that ability.


According this from the article...

The Media Player program does ask users to authorize "services that cost you money" prior to installation, according to Lookout


It would seem that the app itself sends it without the need to disable that security feature and it only happens if people ignore the warning. If it /does/ disable it, i'd like to know for sure, since I'm an Android user.
gunslingor1
not rated yet Aug 16, 2010
I got the impression that message was at installation, and not every time you run the thing.
Aloken
not rated yet Aug 18, 2010
During installation every android application reports which parts of your phone's system will be used (gps, compass,sms,calls,storage,etc...)

If you ignore that and install anyway then its your fault. "Yes that's all I ever wanted, a media player that sends out SMS" ...really...