Android SMS Worm Lets Bad Actors Cash In

Forget the selfies for a minute. If you are an Android user you need to be more concerned about a piece of mobile malware known as Selfmite that spreads using SMS by tricking users into installing a worm app, according to mobile network protection and security firm Adaptive Mobile.

That worm app propagates by automatically sending text messages to contacts in the infected phoneEUs address book. Next, the worm requests users install a legitimate app via an advertising platform. Every time the app is installed the wormEUs author gets paid.

EUAt the moment North America seems to be the most targeted territory,EU said Denis Maslennikov, a Security Analyst at AdaptiveMobile. The worm was first discovered in the U.S. where it seems concentrated, but AdaptiveMobile reports activity from a dozen countries around the world.

Abusing Legal Services

EUSMS worms for Android smartphones have previously been rare, but this and the recent Samsapo worm in Russia may indicate that cybercriminals are now starting to broaden their attacks on mobile phones to use different techniques that users may not be aware of,EU said Maslennikov.

The firm reports Selfmite spreads by sending users the following SMS, which contains a URL that redirects to the malware: EUDear [NAME], Look the Self-time, http://goo.gl/[REDACTED]'. If a user clicks on the goo.gl shortened link, he is invited to download and install an APK file that appears as an icon on his smartphone menu after installation is complete.

EUThere is a monetization aspect to this worm,EU said Maslennikov. EUTo redirect users to the Mobogenie app, the Selfmite worm uses an advertising platform, therefore we believe that an unknown registered user of the advertising platform abused a legal service and attempted to increase the number of Mobogenie app installations using malicious software.EU

Beyond impacting a user's billing plan by automatically sending spam messages, mobile operators that pick...

Comments are closed.