1391 Brits stung in Angry Birds scam

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Trojanised apps sends secret SMSes.

More than a thousand smartphone users have downloaded ‘trojanised' versions of mobile applications that secretly sent expensive SMS messages to premium-rate numbers.

According to a report by The Daily Telegraph, the infected app it gained access to users' phones and sent three premium-rate text messages each time the app was opened, costing £15 (A$24).

UK industry regulator PhonepayPlus uncovered that 1391 mobile phone numbers in the UK had been stung by the scam, and this has led to it fining the premium short message receiver A1 Limited A1 Aggregator Ltd £50,000 (A$80,000) and forcing it to adhere to stricter operating terms and to refund all customers.

Carl Leonard, senior security research manager EMEA at Websense, said: “Mobile apps are a powerful malware delivery technique as most users are willing to allow apps to do anything to get the desired functionality. Cyber criminals are beginning to use these malicious apps not only to make a quick buck but to also steal valuable data.

“For example, a malicious app could access the data on your phone, or access all of your contacts. This is particularly bad news for businesses that allow bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes but don't have the right security to protect their mobile data.”

The McAfee threats report for the first quarter of 2012 found that Android malware increased from 2000 to 8000 items from 2011 to 2012, while the amount of mobile malware increased from a few hundred samples spotted per quarter in 2011 to more than 6000 in Q1 2012.

David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said: “Kaspersky Lab saw the same number of mobile threats in 2011 alone as we had seen in the previous six years. In March 2012 alone we analysed more than 2500 threats and the overall total now exceeds 12,500.

“The mobile threat landscape is dominated by malware designed to run on Android, we see that 65 per cent of all threats are aimed at this platform. The platform is popular, it's easy to write apps for it and it's easy to distribute them via Google Play, so it's little wonder that cyber criminals are making use of Google Play, where malware masquerades as a legitimate app.

“Everyone should be cautious when downloading apps. Clearly it's safer to download apps from a trusted site like Google Play. But you should still pay close attention to the permissions requested by an app when you install it. If it asks for permission to send/receive messages, but this doesn't match the functionality of the app, don't install it. You should also protect your device with a mobile anti-virus product.”

This article originally appeared at scmagazineuk.com

Copyright © SC Magazine, UK edition


1391 Brits stung in Angry Birds scam
 
 
 
Top Stories
Content, cost & constant innovation: How Foxtel plans to take on Netflix
Nell Payne inhabits the “brave new world of blue strings and networking”. Just don't ask her to put a TV screen on your microwave.
 
Sending in the drones
Margins are getting tighter in the industrial services industry, so Transfield Services' Stephen Phillips looks offshore - and to the skies - for the solutions he needs to keep pace.
 
Westpac fires starting pistol on core banking upgrade
St George readies itself for move to Celeriti.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft launches Office for Android preview
May 22, 2015
Microsoft has launched a preview of Office for Android smartphones. Pre-release versions of ...
Microsoft is working on an iOS email chat feature called Flow
May 22, 2015
Microsoft is working on a new chat app, but at the moment we know more about what we DON'T know, ...
Windows 10 free upgrade: Microsoft details who gets what
May 22, 2015
Microsoft was meant to be streamlining its OS with Windows 10, so why is upgrading so confusing? ...
Windows 10 has an edition to suit everyone's needs
May 15, 2015
Microsoft unveils a mind-melting six editions of Windows 10 ahead of its Winter 2015 launch. ...
Firefox 38 FINAL released, debuts new tab-based preferences
May 13, 2015
Mozilla has unveiled the latest version of Firefox 38.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should Optus make a bid for iiNet?

   |   View results
Yes
  43%
 
No
  57%
TOTAL VOTES: 544

Vote