August 11, 2010

First SMS trojan hits Android smartphones

by Darren Allan

Security firm Kaspersky has spotted the first SMS trojan to hit the Android platform, owners of the Google OS powered phones should be aware.

The trojan comes in the form of a fake media player. Once installed on a handset, it surreptitiously sends text messages to premium rate numbers, piling up the charges on your phone bill.

The malware is being spread via texts, asking to be installed as a video player application when it arrives, the BBC reports.

Apparently it’s currently doing the rounds in Russia, and at the moment is considered a low risk threat in global terms as the virus isn’t very widespread. Not yet, anyway.

As ever, be careful when installing anything on your smartphone. Google advises particular care when installing apps which have been downloaded from outside the Android Market.

A Google spokesperson told the BBC: “Our application permissions model protects against this type of threat.”

“When installing an application, users see a screen that explains clearly what information and system resources the application has permission to access, such as a user’s phone number or sending an SMS. Users must explicitly approve this access in order to continue with the installation.”

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