Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash
Deploy flash memory technology to
deliver peak workload performance.

Find out more>>
Mobile Apps
Cisco UCS Invicta Series flash memory systems
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Android SMS Worm Lets Bad Actors Cash In
Android SMS Worm Lets Bad Actors Cash In

By Jennifer LeClaire
June 27, 2014 12:37PM

Bookmark and Share
Attempts to spread malware through IMs Facebook chats and SMSs like the Selfmite worm is doing are nothing new. But these packages are being distributed "off-market." That means victims must have already disabled safety features on their Android devices to get infected with Selfmite. Now, they should load an antivirus app on their mobiles.
 



Forget the selfies for a minute. If you are an Android user you need to be more concerned about a piece of mobile malware known as Selfmite that spreads using SMS by tricking users into installing a worm app, according to mobile network protection and security firm Adaptive Mobile.

That worm app propagates by automatically sending text messages to contacts in the infected phone’s address book. Next, the worm requests users install a legitimate app via an advertising platform. Every time the app is installed the worm’s author gets paid.

“At the moment North America seems to be the most targeted territory,” said Denis Maslennikov, a Security Analyst at AdaptiveMobile. The worm was first discovered in the U.S. where it seems concentrated, but AdaptiveMobile reports activity from a dozen countries around the world.

Abusing Legal Services

“SMS worms for Android smartphones have previously been rare, but this and the recent Samsapo worm in Russia may indicate that cybercriminals are now starting to broaden their attacks on mobile phones to use different techniques that users may not be aware of,” said Maslennikov.

The firm reports Selfmite spreads by sending users the following SMS, which contains a URL that redirects to the malware: ‘Dear [NAME], Look the Self-time, http://goo.gl/[REDACTED]'. If a user clicks on the goo.gl shortened link, he is invited to download and install an APK file that appears as an icon on his smartphone menu after installation is complete.

“There is a monetization aspect to this worm,” said Maslennikov. “To redirect users to the Mobogenie app, the Selfmite worm uses an advertising platform, therefore we believe that an unknown registered user of the advertising platform abused a legal service and attempted to increase the number of Mobogenie app installations using malicious software.”

Beyond impacting a user's billing plan by automatically sending spam messages, mobile operators that pick up on the rush of activity could block the user’s device from the network. AdaptiveMobile has contacted Google and the malicious URL has already been disabled.

Nothing New, but Still Troublesome

We caught up with Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos, to get his take on the SMS malware. He told us attempts at spreading malware through instant messages, Facebook chats and SMSs are nothing new.

“These types of attacks have had success on PCs for years," he said. "And just like the migration of ransomware and fake antivirus from PC to mobile, it is not surprising to see this tactic migrate as well.”

According to Wisniewski, these packages are being distributed "off-market." That means victims need to have already disabled safety features on their Android devices to get infected.

“The relationship to ad networks distributing legitimate apps later was actually discovered by one of our researchers, Rowland Yu, and presented at last year's Virus Bulletin conference in Berlin. His presentation focused on GinMaster and how it was monetized,” Wisniewski said.

“Installing non-Google Play apps is a bad idea and clicking links in SMSs is ill-advised as well. If you are concerned, this might be a good time to load an antivirus app on your mobile," he added.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Mona Al Fikri:

Posted: 2014-06-29 @ 12:11am PT
I like Mobogenie. Never caused me any problems on my android.

StayAwayFromGooglePlay:

Posted: 2014-06-27 @ 1:52pm PT
Installing non-Google Play apps is actually a good idea. The bad idea is to install apps infested with ad network stuff.



UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash Why wait for the future? Unlock the potential of your applications and create new business opportunities today with UCS Invicta Series Solid State Systems. Take advantage of the power of flash technology. See how it can help accelerate IT, eliminate data center bottlenecks, and deliver the peak application performance and predictability your users demand. Click here to learn more.


 Mobile Apps
1.   Asana Revamps Mobile App
2.   Facebook To Force Use of Messenger
3.   Zillow-Trulia: Digital Ad Juggernaut
4.   Rhapsody Hits 2 Million Subscribers
5.   Salesforce App Personalizes the Sale


advertisement
Zillow-Trulia: Digital Ad Juggernaut
Amid agent and broker unease, tension.
Average Rating:
Salesforce App Personalizes the Sale
New CRM and sales automation tools.
Average Rating:
Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
34 institutions, four European countries
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tor Internet Privacy Service Warns Users It Was Breached
You may never have heard of the Tor Project, but the Internet privacy service is making headlines. Tor’s devs say users might be victims of an attack launched against the project earlier this year.
 
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
AMD's ARM-Based Opteron Out in $3K Dev Kit
It's dubbed "Seattle" and it's AMD's first 64-bit ARM-based Opteron processor. The low-power chip is being released as part of AMD’s Opteron A1100-series developer kit, and aimed at high-end data center needs.
 
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Dell, BlackBerry Not Sweating Apple-IBM Alliance
IBM's recent move to partner with Apple to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Virgin Mobile Offers Custom Smartphone Plans
As the wireless carrier wars continue heating up, Virgin Mobile just threw the customization coal onto the fire. The firm has debuted a no-annual-contract plan with rates based on individual use.
 
Collaboration Provider Asana Revamps Mobile App
Asana, a collaboration software provider started by a Facebook founder, is now out with a rebuilt native iOS mobile app. It replaces one that even the company admits was not up to par.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.