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Google android virus steals cash via phones



Virus steals cash

Virus steals cash

A virus that reportedly steals cash via phones running Google's Android operating system has been found by Kaspersky Labs.

According to the security firm, the virus poses as a media player but once activated sends premium rate text messages. The messages are then sent to a service, operated by the virus' creator allowing him to gather the lucrative fees.

Thus far, it is believed to be the first ‘booby-trapped' application for the Android operating system.

In a security warning, Kaspersky stated that the virus - Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a - is being spread by text message, which asks users to install an application which purports to be a media player.

Currently, the virus is said to be more prevalent in Russia Android phones and markets, though with the increase in Android users in recent months there is the possibility in could spread to other regions.

Rise in malware

Speaking to the BBC, Kaspersky mobile research group manager Denis Maslennikov said , "We can expect to see a corresponding rise in the amount of malware targeting that platform."

Google has responded to the threat saying they have a system in place that can revoke malicious applications and stop them running on handsets. "Our application permissions model protects against this type of threat," said a spokesperson for Google.

"When installing an application, users see a screen that explains clearly what information and system resources the application has permission to access, such as a user's phone number or sending an SMS. Users must explicitly approve this access in order to continue with the installation, and they may uninstall applications at any time.

The spokesperson said the firm advises users to "only install apps they trust. In particular, users should exercise caution when installing applications outside of Android Market."

Last week, Android phones made headlines when Business Management US reported that sales had increased 886 percent year-on-year from the second quarter of 2009.

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