Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Android users face rise in SMS fraud apps, reckons Bitdefender

The era of mobile innocence is over

Article comments

US and UK Android users whose smartphones become infected by malware are now at an uncomfortably high risk of losing money to SMS fraud scammers, security firm Bitdefender has reported.

Money-stealing malware (which generate premium-rate SMS charges) has been one of the rising trends during 2012, with around 16 percent of US and 11 percent of UK Android malware reports now involving this kind of attack.

Across the developed world, a similar picture holds, with the equivalent statistics for France being 15 percent, Germany 9 percent and Romania (Bitdefender’s home market) 15 percent.

In the developing world, by contrast, adware (aka nuisance apps) of varying levels of aggressiveness are the larger issue, with more than half of all unwanted or malicious apps in India falling into this category.

Overall, during 2012 malware reports are now at roughly three times the level a year ago, with two families – the SMSSend and FakeInst Trojans - accounting for two thirds of that figure.

“European and North American Android users need to be wary of Android Trojans that reach for their pockets,” said Bitdefender chief security strategist, Catalin Cosoi.

“During 2013 we expect to see a rampant increase of malware, directly proportional with the number of users that acquire Android devices.”

Mobile malware is no longer the sort of topic people read about but are unlikely to experience themselves.

Most examples have been, as Bitdefender says, SMS fraud malware. UK examples trickled out during the year including an app that allegedly generated £5 ($7.50) text messages while posing as Angry Birds to get itself installed. News of the scam only emerged when large numbrs of users complained to their networks.

Only days ago came news of a more serous attack on European banking systems, the critical component of which was a Trojan designed to intercept bank authentication SMS messages. That left a clutch of the banks and their customers nursing 36 million euros in losses.

Bitdefender compiled the figures using detections on its own Android security app throughout 2012.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *