Mobile Malware: Organized, Profitable

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 @ 05:08 PM gHale


A well-organized company makes all the difference and will always bring in profits and the same thing goes for the mobile malware industry in Russia.

Not only is it very well organized, but it is also highly profitable, new research shows.

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This new report shows 10 Russian organizations are responsible for 60 percent of all Russian malware, said IT security firm Lookout in its new report entitled “Dragon Lady: An Investigation Into the Industry Behind the Majority of Russian-Made Malware.”

It appears the criminal enterprises have a solid organization, where they have thousands of affiliate marketers, who can make up to $12,000 per month. In addition, they have a malware headquarters.

The malware HQ releases new malicious creations every two weeks, and provides customer support, malware hosting, shortcode registration, and the marketing campaign management tools.

Most of the criminal organizations focus on toll fraud malware, the one that earns cyber criminals money by sending SMSs to premium rate numbers from the infected phones.

Victims think they are downloading the Angry Birds game or other popular app, while in reality they’re installing a Trojan that inflates their bill by sending SMS messages.

“Twitter is a primary distribution channel for malware affiliates because search engines assign a high value to indexed tweets which means higher ranking in the search results. When searchers seek out free songs, apps or porn, a high search ranking promotes the affiliate content,” the report said.

“Lookout combed through 247,863 unique twitter handles and over a million tweets. Nearly 50,000 of the unique handles and nearly 25 percent of all tweets identified were confirmed linking to malware. While many of the accounts were still active, Twitter’s security team appeared to disable accounts which they identified as malicious.”

Click here to download the complete “Dragon Lady” report.



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