02 Jun 2011

Android malware raises user fees

For users of popular Android-based smartphones, a new threat is circulating. According to a mobile security company, malware is currently affecting 20 applications by auto-dialing phone numbers to raise user fees.

The malware, called BaseBridge, can also be embedded with legitimate applications, and, if downloaded, prompts the user to upgrade under the name com.android.battery. Once the device is restarted, the malware is activated, according to the company.

If the malware reaches activation, three services are launched - AdSmsService, BridgeProvider and PhoneService - which communicate with a control server that sends out the phone calls and text messages, raising user fees.

"Meanwhile, the malware also blocks messages from the mobile carrier to prevent users from getting fee consumption updates in time so that all malicious activities are undertaken stealthily without the user's knowledge or consent," the security company said. "The malware may also insert messages to the inbox of a mobile device at a designated time."

According to a Mercury News report, several internet security companies have revealed that cyber criminals are developing new Trojans, viruses and spyware to target the growing smartphone market.