Print 36 comment(s) - last by Nutzo.. on Aug 21 at 2:06 PM

Malware is stubborn and hard to remove

Since July, a new strain of malware has been attacking Android smartphones in China.  Dubbed SMSZombie.A, the malware spreads by wallpaper apps on China's largest apps marketplace, GFan.

The apps come with alluring titles, such as "Android Animated Screensaver: Animated Album I Found When I Fixed My Female Coworker's Computer".  

When the user sets the in-app wallpaper as their selected wallpaper, they receive a prompt requesting to download additional files.  Those files are a malware packaged dubbed "Android System Service".  Once installed, that package request administrative privileges, repeatedly popping up the dialogue until the user accepts.

As with various text message scams in the U.S., sending and receiving messages from premium SMS numbers make the bulk of the profit from the malware.  As carriers receive a cut of the profits from premium SMS messages, some carriers have been unwilling to block abusive premium SMS entities, even if it means their customers are being ripped off.  

The new Android malware is particularly clever as it deletes receipts from premium SMS services, disguising the fees from the user.  Researchers suspect the malware may also be attempting to steal bankcard numbers and money transfer receipt details.

SMS Zombie
The SMSZombie malware acts a malicious Trojan [Image Source: TrustGo]

So far 500,000 Android smartphones in China have been infected by SMSZombie, according to TrustGo, a mobile security firm.

As the actual wallpaper apps contain no direct malware, they are hard for mobile antivirus software to detect.  They also reportedly are resistant to removal.

Android malware is most prevalent in China, where poorly regulated third party applications markets dominate the Android software space.  Such markets are oft rife with pirated and malicious applications [1][2][3].

In the last quarter approximately 34 million Android smartphones shipped to the Chinese market, according Canalys [source].  The biggest player is Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930), who is shipping close to 10 million units a quarter to the world's biggest smartphone market.  Huawei Technologies Comp. (SHE:002502and HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) also command large Android sales in the market.

Source: SMSZombie

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RE: Yeah, well
By Argon18 on 8/20/2012 4:32:00 PM , Rating: -1
Sounds like you've been drinking too much of that Coke then. Apple has always been about low prices on their consumer software and "apps".

$29 OSX upgrades? Microsoft wants $129 or more.

$0.99 apps for the iPhone? That was a novel and groundbreaking idea when iPhone was new. There were no competitors. The next closest thing was PC software, and selling that at a 99 cent price point is unheard-of. There were apps for Palm and other mobile devices, but they were all $20 or so, just like other retail computer software.

So yes, in the consumer software space, (FYI what this discussion is about), Apple is a pioneer in the low-price "micro transaction" business model.

RE: Yeah, well
By Reclaimer77 on 8/20/2012 4:37:27 PM , Rating: 4
$29 OSX upgrades? Microsoft wants $129 or more.

Nice try. Those OSX "upgrades" amount to a Windows Service Pack, which last time I checked was free.

Also since OSX only runs on Apple hardware, which is always overpriced, meh.

Sounds like you've been drinking too much of that Coke then.

Better than the Kool Aid you're gorging on.

RE: Yeah, well
By kleinma on 8/20/2012 4:37:43 PM , Rating: 3
Lets not confuse OS upgrades with Service Packs.

.99 cent apps were not groundbreaking with the iPhone, what are you smoking? I was buying .99 cent apps written for BREW on Verizon Wireless dumb phones before Apple even made the iPod.

They didn't pioneer shit. They simply wrap up what everyone else is doing in a neat little package and call it revolutionary, and you and Tony gulp their koolaid without question.

RE: Yeah, well
By Tony Swash on 8/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah, well
By wordsworm on 8/20/2012 7:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree that Apple was the first. Ubuntu beat them all to it, except that their apps are free.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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