Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite 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 Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
Digital Life
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Security Firm Warns of Mobile Malware SMS Toll Fraud
Security Firm Warns of Mobile Malware SMS Toll Fraud

By Mark Long
September 7, 2012 11:35AM

Bookmark and Share
"In general, when someone texts a specific number, or 'short code' to order a service, the content is delivered, and a fee appears on their phone bill," says Lookout's new mobile-security report. "Lax premium SMS regulation in certain geographies -- including Eastern Europe and Russia -- creates an environment in which toll fraud can be a viable business."
 


Criminals are targeting mobile phone users with malware capable of billing unsuspecting victims through premium SMS services as well as invading the device user's privacy by accessing personal information, according to Lookout, a producer of mobile security software based in San Francisco.

The likelihood that any given Android-based mobile device contains malware or spyware is heavily dependent on geographic location -- from 0.02 to 0.04 percent in Japan and the United States to 41.6 percent in Russia. What's more, "people who download apps outside of trusted sources like Google Play have a higher likelihood of encountering malware," Lookout Mobile Security's research team said in a blog post.

The FakeInst family of toll fraud malware has already succeeded in stealing millions of dollars from mobile-device owners since October 2011, and accounted for 82 percent of all mobile malware detected worldwide by Lookout in June of this year. FakeInst games the app ecosystem by leveraging the built-in phone billing system known as Premium SMS.

"In general, when someone texts a specific number, or 'short code' to order a service, the content is delivered, and a fee appears on their phone bill," noted the authors of Lookout's new State of Mobile Security 2012 report. "Lax premium SMS regulation in certain geographies -- including Eastern Europe and Russia -- creates an environment in which toll fraud can be a viable business."

Proactive Privacy Management

According to Lookout, 5 percent of free Android mobile apps currently contain one or more aggressive ad networks with the ability to access the device user's personal information or display confusing ads. "In addition, a number of high-profile iOS applications raised red flags about privacy issues this year," Lookout's report says.

The good news is that American handset users are becoming more proactive in managing the personal content that resides on their phones. For example, 54 percent of U.S.-based mobile app users surveyed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project said they had decided not to install a mobile app because of the personal information they would need to share, and with 30 percent saying they had uninstalled a mobile app after learning that the software was collecting personal information about them.

"The way a mobile application handles personal data is a feature that many cell phone owners now take into consideration when choosing the apps they will use," said Pew Internet Project Research Associate Mary Madden on Wednesday. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >

 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 Digital Life
1.   'Right To Be Forgotten': 26 Questions
2.   Civil War Battle Sites Get Mobile App
3.   Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
4.   Earnings, Excitement Grow for Apple
5.   Protect Yourself from Identity Theft


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

Network Security Spotlight
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.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
A late entry into a packed category of smartphones, Amazon's Fire phone offers a variety of unique features. Now, the reviewers are assessing if they're enough to make the phone stand out.
 
Review: Amazon Fire Offers New Ways To Use Phones
The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST 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.