Android is the most popular mobile platform among mobile users, but sadly, among cybercrooks, as well. And with Android covering almost 70% of the Chinese mobile market – 68.5% at the end of 2011, according to Android Central – it’s no surprise that Chinese Android users were first to be hit by a new type of Android malware.
Mobile security researchers have recently discovered a new mobile Trojan that has the ability to automatically place orders for paid content and apps, racking up phone bills.
Hidden in legit-looking apps, the MMarketPay.A Trojan has made it to nine third-party Android app stores in China and has infected more than 100,000 Android users.
How does the new mobile Trojan work?
Once the user downloads the malicious app, the Trojan inside it gets activated and, in this particular case, starts placing orders for paid apps and other mobile items at China Mobile’s official online store, Mobile Market. It goes without saying that the infected user is kept in the dark about the whole process. As if that wasn’t enough, the Trojan has other “skills” as well:
- Intercepting the verification SMS sent by China Mobile, and entering the verification code to the Mobile Market online store.
- Sending the CAPTCHA code image – triggered at this stage – to a remote server for someone to decipher the code.
With this new Trojan infecting Android users in China, a precedent has been set and who knows what country may be cybercrooks next target? It might be yours.
How can you avoid falling victim to it?
If you’re an Android user, steer clear of malicious Android apps!
- Only download apps from the platform’s official app store and avoid third-party app stores.
- Look for reviews from other users who have already downloaded the app you want.
- Carefully read the requested permissions and make sure they match the app’s features.
- Install a mobile security app that protects your phone from all types of malware using real-time detection.
- Always stay informed about mobile security and emerging mobile threats.
Any other tips? Leave them in the comment box below and share them with your friends as well.