Smartphone Trojans Beginning to Appear

Sue Marquette Poremba

It really was just a matter of time until reports of apps infected with Trojansand other spyware picked up steam.


ZDNet UK reported that Android is the latest victim. A free game download, called Tap Snake, is infected with a Trojan. According to the ZDNet article:

The app appears as a classic game of Snake, but once installed and registered, it will periodically send location reports to a remote server, according to Symantec. However, in order to access the location updates, the snooping software requires a counterpart app - called GPS Spy - to be installed on the "attacker" handset.
In addition, the same email and passkey credentials used when downloading Tap Snake must be entered into the GPS Spy app in order for the attacker handset to receive the location details. GPS Spy will then check the whereabouts of the targeted handset every 15 minutes to present up-to-the-minute location data and data for the preceding 24 hours.

The good news is the threat level from this Trojan is low. The bad news is that, with Android's open platform, this could be the beginning of Trojans aimed specifically at the smartphone. And it is creepy that someone could keep track of your whereabouts, without your knowledge, just because you downloaded a game.


There are also reports that another Trojan is out there that appears as a media player app, but actually uses the phone to send messages. According to Kaspersky Labs, which found this Trojan:

The new malicious program penetrates smartphones running Android in the guise of a harmless media player application. Users are prompted to install a file of just over 13 KB with the standard Android extension .APK. Once installed on the phone, the Trojan uses the system to begin sending SMSs to premium rate numbers without the owner's knowledge or consent, resulting in money passing from a user's account to that of the cybercriminals.

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