More mobile spyware hits Android

New spyware apps on Android are a big privacy threat.

NetQin Mobile has captured 2 new spyware programs that have been infecting Android phones. The two programs, "SW.SecurePhone" and "SW.Qieting", can release an unsettling amount of personal information from an infected phone.

SW.SecurePhone is an app that has no icon and runs continuously in the background. The app gathers data from your text messages, call log, and pictures, and uploads them to a remote server. SW.SecurePhone can also obtain your phone's location information and record sounds around the device.

SW.Qieting forwards your incoming messages to a monitoring phone.

Both are mainly distributed in the U.S through the internet. Since neither of the two apps have an icon, it's hard to tell at a glance whether you are infected or not. To help users stay safe, NetQin offers the following advice:

1) Download applications from trusted sources and check reviews, ratings, and developer information before downloading anything.

2) Pay close attention to app permissions. An application should not request to do more than what it offers in its official list of features.

3) Be on alert for unusual fees in your phone bill as this may be a sign your phone is infected.

4) Install a trusted security application to protect your phone.

As Android gains in popularity, more and more malware makers will begin to target the platform. So if you have an Android phone, it may be worth your while to get an antivirus program on it. Better to be safe than sorry.

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Armando Rodriguez

PC World (US online)
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