Android Malware Can Inflate Your Mobile Bill!

Posted by midhun pottmmal On Friday, 14 December 2012 0 comments
 It is a known fact that Android malware spies on personal data on devices and also tries to peak into banking information of users. According to a recent report published by a San Francisco-based mobile security company named Lookout, it has been revealed that a type of malware named 'toll fraud' can secretly make changes to telephone bills. Toll fraud malware secretly subscribes to the services of the cellular operator without informing the user.

To understand how the malware functions, let us take a sample case. Normally, when a user subscribes to some service via SMS such as subscribing to caller tunes or ringtones, the user sends a message with a certain code to subscribe for the service. After this, the subscription request is accepted by the operator, which is then redirected to a middleman who handles the transaction between the operator and the service provider.
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The toll fraud malware behaves like the user and the middleman. It secretly sends a subscription request, then the operator takes the order from the middleman (the malware). The order reaches the service provider and then the cellular operator sends a confirmation request. The confirmation request is accepted by the user or the malware in disguise and the service is activated on the device, for which the user is charged with a fee.

Next, the malware blocks all interactions. The service doesn't reach the actual user. The malware gets the middleman's share of the subscription fee. Lookout revealed that from 2012 to 2013, 18 million Android users may have encountered the malware and about 72 per cent of the malware that Lookout detected this year was toll fraud. 

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