09 Sep 2010

Porn malware an internet security concern for Android users

An internet security expert for a data management company has uncovered a malware program fronting as a pornography application for Google's smartphone operating system Android.

Researching a separate Trojan, the expert said he discovered this new program, which, when downloaded and run, sends costly text messages from the user's phone. The malware - named Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.b - gets widely distributed through search-optimization methods, the expert said.

"The use of SEO is a significant development that confirms our belief that mobile malware - especially on Android devices - is a potentially lucrative business for malicious hackers," the expert said.

So far it is mainly targeting Android users in Russia.

The fake porn application does not have an actual interface, but instead places an icon on the smartphone's screen and sends text messages without the user's consent. The messages cost $6 each, the expert said.

This could be a growing problem for Android owners, as the Google system continues to gain popularity. Piper Jaffray recently reported Android will make up half of market share in the next five years.