Print 16 comment(s) - last by Performance Fa.. on Nov 14 at 5:00 PM

  (Source: Rama's Screen)
Over 1 million citizens cell phones are infected, sending out costly deluge of texts

Some might have scoffed at our story yesterday on AVG's acquisition of Android OS antivirus company DroidSecurity.  Antivirus, on a cell phone?  The notion sounds laughable, as there haven't been many viral attacks on cell phones to date.

Of course, as China is finding out, cell phones are just like any other computer -- with memory, a processor, and the potential to run applications.  A virus is sweeping across China's smartphones and has effected 1 million thus far, transforming them into text message spam zombies.

The attack was first reported by the Chinese news site 

The virus affects users of Symbian, the world's most used smartphone OS.  The virus is similar in some regards to the Troj/SymbSms-A malware that struck Russian smartphones earlier this year.  A variant of that virus also was used to attack Android smartphones, posing as a media player.

Unlike the Russian attack whose goal was to text premium messaging services (such as sexting services), the key goal of this malware is to send spam ads.  The user is infected when they click on a link to install a fake antivirus program on their phone.

After the phone is infected, it broadcasts the users' SIM information to the hackers servers.  The hackers then access the user's address book and send out pay-per-click ads, whose links, when clicked, also infect the receiving user's cell phone.

The zombie hypertexting cell-phones are costing Chinese customers a reported 2 million yuan ($300,000 USD) a day.  Meanwhile the hackers are piling up profit from click revenue.

Government officials with China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Center are struggling to figure out the origins of the virus.  The malicious program appears to be the clone of a legitimate one produced by Sichuan Province-based Chendu Qimiao.

And the zombie virus itself seems remarkably well designed in that it has evaded most legitimate antivirus programs available to users.  Thus far there is no widely publicized solution for infected users -- other than to perhaps turn off their phones.

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RE: This deserves explanation
By Drag0nFire on 11/12/2010 2:22:21 PM , Rating: 4
My goodness. No need to jump all over me. I actually didn't intend to complain about your writing style, and I'm sorry you took it personally.

Since the sentence in question qualified your comment about uncertain origins of the "virus", I assumed that "one" also referred to the virus. Otherwise, I would interpret a "clone" of an antivirus product to be in fact another antivirus product. See below from a computing dictionary:

Clone - 1. An exact copy of a product, made legally or illegally, from documentation or by reverse engineering, and usually cheaper.

Maybe it is you that doesn't understand how English works. I'm no journalist, but perhaps, next time, you might write something a little more clear, such as:

The malicious program appears to mimic a legitimate anti-virus program produced by Sichuan Province-based Chendu Qimiao.

RE: This deserves explanation
By Kurz on 11/13/2010 10:48:57 AM , Rating: 1
Clone in what sense you mean?
In code its not a clone.
In appearance it looks like and opperates just like the authetic AV program.

By Performance Fanboi on 11/14/2010 5:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
I had no trouble understanding what was written. The malicious PROGRAM mimics a legitimate PROGRAM.

I love it when people try to correct something that isn't wrong when it is their reading comprehension that fails.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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