‘Bill Shocker’ Targets China

Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 06:01 PM gHale

At least 600,000 Chinese users are suffering from a new malware targeting popular apps on Android mobile devices to spew costly spam.

Beijing- and Dallas-based NQ Mobile said the 600,000 Chinese users ended up hit with the malicious code named “Bill Shocker” (a.expense.Extension.a) because it runs up the bills of infected users while sending spam messages using their devices. So far, the infection seems contained to China, but for how long is anybody‚Äôs guess.

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Thus far the Trojan infected popular mobile apps like Tencent QQ Messenger and Sohu News sold in third-party online stores. Once a user downloads an infected app on an unprotected phone, Bill Shocker enters surreptitiously and takes remote control to, among other things, rummage through contact lists and messaging apps to send spam via text messages that eventually trigger overage charges on the unsuspecting user’s account.

The company’s determined the malware can update itself and “automatically expand to other apps, multiplying the potentially disastrous effects,” NQ Mobile said in a blog post.

NQ Mobile advises smartphone users to use caution to avoid infection. They include downloading apps only from trusted sources, closely monitoring permissions and phone activity for any unusual behavior.

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