Kaspersky Uncovers First SMS Trojan that Targets Android-powered Devices
Article by George Norman
On 11 Aug 2010
UPDATE Sept 14: Kaspersky uncovered a second SMS Trojan . This Trojan is usually found on adult sites; it also claims to be a media player. Once installed, it sends out messages ($6 per message) to a premium rate number.

Kaspersky, company that offers award-winning antivirus and mobile security software, has recently announced that it uncovered the first SMS Trojan that targets smartphones powered by Google’s Android operating system. The malicious program has been classified by Kaspersky as Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a and a signature for it has been added to Kaspersky Lab’s antivirus databases.

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Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a is the first malicious program to specifically target the Android operating system. This is not to say that Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a is the first malicious program to infect Android-powered devices. Kaspersky explained that isolated cases where Android devices were infected with spyware have been reported since 2009.

“The new malicious program penetrates smartphones running Android in the guise of a harmless media player application. Users are prompted to install a file of just over 13 KB with the standard Android extension .APK. Once installed on the phone, 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,” explained Kaspersky.

It is not surprising that the bad guys target the Android operating system. The bad guys will target anything as long as it is popular and it has a large following. Why do you think spammers always use high profile events to peddle their spam; or why they use a big celebrity’s name to lure you into opening a spam message? It is the same with the Android. The Android is such a popular OS and it is used on so many devices that it makes for an alluring target.

Mobile Research Group Manager at Kaspersky Lab, Denis Maslennikov, explains: “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. As a result, we can expect to see a corresponding rise in the amount of malware targeting that platform. Kaspersky Lab is actively developing technologies and solutions to protect this operating system and plans to release Kaspersky Mobile Security for Android in early 2011.”



Tags: Kaspersky, SMS Trojan, Android, Security
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Kaspersky Uncovers First SMS Trojan that Targets Android-powered Devices
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