Security researchers at Avast antivirus have spotted a trojan malware in multiple Android apps, which are intended to siphon money from victims with premium subscriptions.
Known as SMSFactory, this malware’s work is to subscribe users’ devices to premium SMS services and call premium rate phone numbers to unfairly charge money to victims. This is spotted in several countries around the world, with thousands of victims already.
Android Malware to Charge Subscriptions
Malware is of numerous types. Some aim at stealing data, some aim at destroying the infected device, or adware, and some try to infect devices for performing DDoS attacks. Today, we see a typical malware that’s aimed at subscribing users to premium subscriptions without their knowledge.
As spotted by the Avast antivirus team, the malware named SMSFactory is available in a number of Android apps in various app stores, solely aimed at sending SMS to premium subscriptions and making calls to premium phone numbers.
“SMSFactory sneakily siphons money from victims around the world…by sending premium SMS and making calls to premium-rate phone numbers,” noted the experts at Avast.
Researchers also said they had “protected” over 165,000 people in the last 12 months, with their antivirus suite. It’s said to be targeting users in several countries – namely Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Ukraine, the US, France, and Spain.
Malware of this type isn’t new, as we have seen several Android apps doing the same in past. Users downloading apps from unreliable app stores are at high risk of this activity and tend to miss observing what these malicious apps are doing.
And this results in a huge phone bill which they get at the end of every month! To avoid this, researchers warned users to download only apps from reliable sources, like Google Play Store for Android apps and Apple’s App Store for iOS apps.