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Porn can give you a virus (on your Android phone)

  • 12 September 2010
  • Written by 
  • Published in Security

Appearing similar to the first Android infection reported a month ago, the latest Trojan-SMS malware sets up a clear money pathway from the Android-based phone of the victim to the cyber criminals.

According to kaspersky Lab, the latest Trojan, called SMS.AndroidOD.FakePlayer.b, appears to be a media player to the soon-to-be-infected phone user.  Although at 16.4KB, it would have to be a remarkably compact piece of software.

Delivery of the malware is the amusing part of this tale.

Should an Android-based phone owner be unwise enough to search for pornographic videos, they might find that a variety of Russian-language sites appear at the top of the search results.

According to Kaspersky's report on the new malware, "the owners of these adult content sites are deliberately prompting Android users to download the new Trojan, while users of other platforms receive the desired content."

Unlike many Windows-targeted viruses and trojans which are infecting merely by visiting a loaded web site, the Trojan-SMS must be manually installed by the user.  The package, called porkplayer.apk is (supposedly) required to view the adult content videos.

During the installation process, the software requests permission to send SMS messages, something that ought to seem odd to anyone installing a media player.


Once the user launches the fake application, Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.b begins sending SMS messages to a premium rate number without the user's knowledge. The messages cost $6 each, resulting in hefty sums being transferred from the user's account to that of the cybercriminals.

"Android users should pay close attention to the services that an application seeks permission to access," said Denis Maslennikov, Mobile Research Group Manager at Kaspersky Lab. "Automatically permitting a new application to access every service that it says it needs to means you could end up with malicious or unwanted applications doing all sorts of things without requesting any additional information."

The Android platform is rapidly becoming a target for malware authors as it is expected to become very dominant.  Both IDC and Gartner anticipate it becoming the leading smartphone operating system over the next few years.

 

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