15 Jan 2013

Huge Android Botnet Threatens the Security of Chinese Smartphone Users


Chinese security researchers have issued a public warning about a botnet comprised of a hazardous 1 million smartphones running Android, writes the local Xinhua News Agency.

With over 150 million Android users out of a total of 420 million mobile users, China has serious reason to fear they are in great danger of getting mass-infected with the Android.Troj.mdk backdoor.

The Trojan that apparently has already compromised some 7,000 popular software pieces gives the attacker remote control over the victim’s handset, collects contact lists, phone numbers, message details, geo-location data, photos or videos and pretty much whatever is stored on the compromised device. Plus, without the user’s consent, it downloads useless applications that slow down the smartphone, drain the battery or generate aggressive adware.

The fact that this botnet already includes some 1 million devices means that people are not fully aware or concerned about the dangers of purchasing or downloading apps from unlicensed third-party app stores. China went so far as to ask operators to check their stores for vulnerability to protect their clients.

To protect themselves from this menace, Chinese Android users are urged to install a mobile security solution, regularly check the data traffic and call history and make sure they know and approve the permissions required by some apps they acquire from non-authorized sources.