Android users spammed with fake Amazon gift card offers

Text messages promising free gift cards deliver only spam instead

The Gazon SMS scam promises a free Amazon gift card but delivers only spam

The Gazon SMS scam promises a free Amazon gift card but delivers only spam

New malware spreading across Android devices via text messages promises free Amazon gift cards but delivers only spam to everyone on the device's contact list.

The "Gazon" threat, as it is called by IT security firm AdaptiveMobile, has already infected more than 4,000 Android phones in North America, making it the single largest text-based mobile malware attack against Android to date, according to the company. Gazon has also been seen on devices outside North America.

Gazon has thus far spewed out more than 200,000 unsolicited SMS messages, luring some to click on a link promising free Amazon gift cards, an action that causes more messages to be sent out.

None of the major antivirus vendors have detected the malware yet, according to AdaptiveMobile, which discovered the Android virus February 25.

Gazon is a worm, meaning that it propagates itself across multiple devices.

The malware invades phones if users click on an Internet address included with the unwanted text message, which promises $200 in Amazon gift cards. If the link is clicked, software is installed on the device that then sends an identical message to all of the affected user's contacts.

The link doesn't lead to an Amazon gift card, but rather to a page of advertisements that presumably triggers a commission fee for the author of the worm.

Users can remove the malware by using the standard uninstall utility in Android.

Using SMS messages seems to be an increasingly common tactic for propagating Android malware, which until recently was quite rare.

Last May, the Trojan Horse virus Koler used SMS to lure users into downloading software that locked devices which could only be unlocked if the user paid a ransom. The Selmite worm, discovered in June, spread spammy messages to market synchronization software.

The Samsapo worm, also found in May, used text messages to trick users into downloading malicious software.

AdaptiveMobile has tracked the worm back to a single Facebook account that was previously linked to a similar messaging attack in January involving the WhatsApp messaging service.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitymalwareAdaptiveMobile

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

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?