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This new Android malware will leave you with massive charges on your phone bill

Patrick Devaney

Published

We have seen a lot of different types of malware attacks recently from scams hidden in job offers to zero-day Microsoft Word vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, today we are bringing you news of a new type of scam that is targeting Android phones in a way that could end up costing victims hundreds of dollars. Let’s check it out.

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Cybersecurity specialists Avast have released information about a new type of Trojan attack that is targeting Android phones. The Trojan, dubbed SMSFactory by researchers at Avast, secretly makes expensive calls from infected mobiles. Unfortunately, there is more.

This new Android malware will leave you with massive charges on your phone bill

Avast say that SMSFactory has infected Android phones around the world including Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Ukraine, US, France and Spain, among others. Incredibly, the company has detected it on the phones over 165,000 Avast users over the last 12 months.

Without alerting victims to its presence the Trojan can rack up bills of up to $336 a year by sending premium SMS and making calls to premium-rate phone numbers. Furthermore, some versions of the Trojan also extract victims’ contact lists, likely with the intent of spreading the malware to further victims.

Avast says that the Android malware is spreading through what it calls malvertising, which is when scammers use infected ads to spread malware and send users to infected sites. It is also spread through push notifications and alerts on sites that offer adult content, game hacks, free streams, etc. The Trojan gets onto the victim’s phone and immediately covers its tracks so that it can lay undetected and start racking up expensive phone bills.

Android users need to be careful when downloading files from strange sources as they could be getting redirected to false download sites such as the one shown above. Then, when they hit download, instead of getting the program they think they are getting, they actually download the malicious Trojan to their phones.

The key to staying safe here is sticking to official app stores like the Google Play Store or Softonic. You could also download an Antivirus program to your mobile, such as Avast. Finally, you need to remain vigilant yourself, which is why we will point you in the direction of phishing detection infographic guide.

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