Smartphones targeted by porn scams

Malware fiends use old dial-up tricks
  • (Unknown Publication)
  • — 16 January, 2010 02:38

Cyber criminals have gone back to their old-school tricks to target innocent smartphone users.

In the days of dial-up internet access Trojan Dialers were added to an infected computer calling out to premium numbers through dial-up modems. The unsuspecting user of the infected machine then received huge telephone bills.

The practice died out with the advent of broadband modems, but security analysts now warn that smartphone users are being targeted in remarkably similar fashion.

CA research engineer Dinesh Venkatesan, writing in blog post "Beware - Java Dialers that affect mobile bills" warns that its malware analysis lab has observed an increasing trend of Trojan Dialers "to target mobile devices and send SMS messages to high-cost numbers".

Like the old dial-up scam most of the threats are related to pornographic message centres, warns Venkatesan.

The malicious JAD application is packaged with a data file (load.bin) that has a list of high-cost destination numbers. The malicious application uses this bin file to form the text messages with the desired premium destination.

Yesterday we reported that future smartphones will come pre-loaded with anti-virus software clients to prevent the loss of data and services to malware.

Head of research at mobile-security developer F-Secure Mikko Hypponensaid said it had seen a "handful" of diallers in recent months.

F-Secure's dial-up scam advice:

A typical case of this scam is a one where someone opens a premium rate number at local telecom operator and starts sending SMS messages to random mobile phone numbers. A typical message contains some urgent message and instructions to call the number listed in the message.

If a person calls this number he will be connected to premium rate number which will contain recording intended to keep the user on the phone as long as possible. As the number where the user called is a premium rate number, he or she will pay for each minute spent connected to that number.

If you get an SMS message asking for you to call unknown number, either ignore the message, or if you are interested use the operators directory service to find out to whom that extension belongs. But do not call the number directly.

Hypponen is quoted by the BBC as saying this style of attack is popular because "they get round one of the big problems facing anyone wanting to make money out of Windows viruses".

"PC malware can't just directly steal money from your machine; it has to jump through hoops like keylogging your credit card number or sending spam. However, mobile malware can just instantly steal from you by making premium-rate calls or messages," he said.

PC security advice

Smartphone advice

Smartphone reviews

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lexton Snol

Unknown Publication
Topics: security, mobility, smartphones
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?