eScan, one of the leading Anti-Virus and Content Security Solution providers, alerts Android users about a latest Trojan virus that is created to steal sensitive personal data from Android devices. This virus known as ‘Android/Smssend’ is a premium service abuser family malware that enters through Android applications and infects the device. The Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) said that cybercriminals modify a legitimate application and make it malicious. This is then re-distributed via marketplace or other separate channels.
After infecting the Android device, ‘Android/Smssend’ malware sends text messages to numbers on the contact list and also to premium rate numbers. These SMS messages contain malicious links which when clicked by the receiver downloads itself or a different threat onto the device. On this, CERT-In says that after a successful infection of the malware, basic information about the Android device such as IMEI number, device ID, device type among others are compromised and it can even install spyware on the targeted device.
Moreover, the agency says that apart from sending SMS messages, this malware steals contacts and pictures, tracks the location, steals passwords, illegally accesses text messages, crashes a complete system and steals personal banking information when logged in. Additionally, it also installs other sort of spyware and even disables firewall and anti-virus program that is installed on the device to defend itself.
To ensure safe computing, eScan recommends few counter-measures to avoid such threats:
- Android devices are prone to attacks; hence always secure them with reliable anti-virus software.
- Regularly update all the applications and software installed on your device.
- When downloading applications, do not download any application in Android from untrusted source.
- Before downloading an app, check the rating and feedback of customers. Be cautious of applications with complete positive feedback or with feedbacks posted around the same date.
- Also, before installing an app, review all the permissions required by that application.
- Do not respond to SMSs or automated voice messages from unknown numbers on your Smartphone.
- Never click on links sent through SMS. It may contain malicious files that can infect your Android device.
- Most preferably, use device encryption or SD card encryption feature available with most of the Android OS (operating system) for better security of all the important information available on your Smartphone.
- Always remember to avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks as it may compromise the security of your device.