It was just a matter of time before hackers devised a Trojan capable of wreaking SMS havoc for smartphones running the Android mobile operating system.
As eSecurity Planet discovered, security software researchers have found an SMS-sending Trojan that’s targeting Android-based devices to send pricey text messages to premium numbers after users’ install what seems to be an innocent media player application.
Thus far, according to an alert on the Kaspersky website, the Trojan has only affected Android smartphone users in Russia subscribing to Russian wireless networks. It’s not been found in the Android Market application store either — at least not yet.
“The IT market research and analysis organization IDC has noted that those selling devices running Android are experiencing the highest growth in sales among smartphone manufacturers,” Denis Maslennikov, Kaspersky Lab’s mobile research group manager, said in the advisory. “As a result, we can expect to see a corresponding rise in the amount of malware targeting that platform.”
Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab say they’ve found the first SMS Trojan targeting mobile devices running the Android mobile operating system in Russia.
Dubbed Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a, the malicious code disguises itself as an innocuous-looking “Movie Player” application for users who don’t mind using up roughly 13KB of space to watch media content on their phone.
However, once users voluntarily agree to install the app, the Trojan proceeds to send SMS messages to premium-rate numbers charging several dollars per message without the smartphone owner’s knowledge of consent.