Skip to main content

Expensive virus hits Android users

Android users in premium SMS sting
Android users in premium SMS sting
Audio player loading…

A new mobile phone virus is doing the rounds that could cost Android handset users a lot of cash.

The SMS Trojan was discovered by Kapersky Labs, and comes disguised as a media player that, once installed, will send out premium rate text messages to expensive numbers, hitting users' phone bills hard.

The Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a file has been found in a so-far unnamed media player application, which prompts the user to install a simple 'media player file.'

Thankfully, the virus seems contained to Russian Android users, and Kapersky has rated the threat of the virus hitting worldwide users as 'low', so you new Galaxy S and Desire owners can rest easy.

Google: watch what you're doing

Google has responded to the issue, stating it makes it explicitly clear when installing applications users should read what they will do to the phone:

"Our application permissions model protects against this type of threat. When installing an application, users see a screen that explains clearly what information and system resources the application has permission to access, such as a user's phone number or sending an SMS.

"Users must explicitly approve this access in order to continue with the installation, and they may uninstall applications at any time.

"We consistently advise users to only install apps they trust. In particular, users should exercise caution when installing applications outside of Android Market."

From Kapersky via Android Phone Fans

Gareth Beavis
Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.