Kaspersky Lab reports a new malicious program for mobile phones that steals money from mobile accounts
21 Jan 2009
Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management systems, has detected a new malicious program capable of controlling a user’s mobile phone account.
Last week, Kaspersky Lab experts detected a new malicious program for Symbian that targets customers of an Indonesian mobile phone operator. The Trojan is written in Python, a script language. It sends SMS messages to a short number with instructions to transfer part of the money in the user’s account to another account, which belongs to the cybercriminals.
There are five known variants of Trojan-SMS.Python.Flocker, from .ab to.af. The amounts transferred range from $0.45 to $0.90. Thus, if the cybercriminals behind the Trojan manage to infect a large number of phones, the amount transferred to their mobile phone account as a result could be quite substantial.
"Obviously, the authors of the Trojan want to make money,” said Denis Maslennikov, a senior malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab. “It seems that the focus on financial fraud in the mobile malware industry will only get more pronounced over time. Until recently, many people thought that malicious programs that send SMS messages without the user’s knowledge were a purely Russian phenomenon. Now we can see that the problem no longer affects only Russian users - it’s becoming an international issue."
Kaspersky Mobile Security users are protected from the new Trojan: the Kaspersky Lab product blocks malicious programs by not allowing them to run. Kaspersky Lab recommends users to exercise caution when using a smartphone to browse the Internet and to keep antivirus databases up-to-date.