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Toll Fraud:: Android's New Biggest Malware

The most prevalent form of Android malware now appears as a charge on your wireless bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For most hackers, it's about getting their hands on your money. And the latest and most popular piece of Android malware is a program that sends secret charges that appear on your wireless bill.

    The method is called toll fraud and was written about recently by Lookout Mobile Security, a San Francisco-based company that creates mobile security solutions for smartphone users. And the main reason why so many people are infected? Because most are probably not paying close attention to their phone bills.

    A user will download a malicious app, it sends a text to a confederate, who sends back a confirmation and the malware confirms the charge. The wireless service sees nothing wrong with the transaction because it's similar to buying a ringtone, according to the New York Times. The middleman and confirmation are standard in text message transactions, but unfortunately can also be exploited.

    The carrier takes its cut, sends the rest to malware creator and the unfortunate consumer gets stuck with the bill. 

    According to Lookout, 72 percent of malware detected this year was toll fraud and the number is likely to grow. Cellphone users are cautioned to routinely check their bills for these suspicious charges.

    Users should also not download apps from other than legitimate sites such as Amazon or Google Play -- this also greatly reduces the chance of getting hit with a malicious bug.

    (/blogs/press-here)