A new Android Trojan has been spotted, designed to both pilfer data and aid click fraud.
The Trojan, known as HongTouTou, was spotted on Chinese third-party app stores, purporting to be legitimate downloadable programs, such as mobile wallpapers.
According to F-Secure, the malicious piece of kit looks like it has so far only been distributed only in Chinese markets and may only be specific to networks in China.
Infected applications could allow the Trojan, also being referred to as ADRD and Geinimi, to enable or disable network data access.
Furthermore, data on an infected phone may be transmitted to a remote host.
"Another functionality is the possible downloading of an APK named myupdate.apk, which is saved to /sdcard/uc /folder. This is possibly for its update component," F-Secure said in a blog post.
The Trojan cannot be found on the official Google Android Market and only rogue users accessing third-party app stores will place themselves at risk.
“The assumption has to be that those behind the Trojan horse might be earning commission through the click traffic. Furthermore, of course, it could hurt you in your pocket by eating up data bandwidth,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post.
“Those who do install applications from unknown sources (known as "sideloading") do need to recognise that they might be putting their smartphone, data and potentially finances in danger.”