Information Week reports that a virus that repeatedly sends out text messages has infected over one million Chinese cell phones. The virus, which is hidden in a fake anti-virus application, is said to be costing the country’s citizens around $300,000 per day. Usually, an unsuspecting victim receives a message with a link to the bogus anti-virus app. Once the app is installed, the virus takes over the device and sends all the names and phone numbers on the infected mobile phone to hackers who then send several spam text messages to the user’s contacts. The virus is similar to the Troj/SymbSms-A malware that infected Symbian phones in Russia earlier in the year and automatically texted premium-rate numbers. By texting all contacts in an infected phone’s address book, it has the potential to spread rapidly. Unfortunately, the problem is further compounded by the increasing number of cell phones in China and around the world today.
While steps are being taken by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Centre to track down the source of the virus and stem the problem, the situation should serve as a reminder to phone users across the globe of the vulnerabilities of smartphone and mobile devices particularly to attacks from hackers and viruses. Mobile phone users should therefore be careful not to download suspicious programs, avoid opening unsolicited messages and clicking random links.
Has your mobile/smart phone ever been infected by a virus?