By 11 August 2010 | Categories: news


According to CNET, security experts yesterday found what they believed to be the first Trojan targeting Android mobile devices.

The virus siphons off money by sending SMS text messages from unknowing users’ phones to premium rate numbers.

The Trojan-SMS malware file has been identified as ‘Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a’, and is being distributed through an unknown malicious website.

When a device is attacked, the user is prompted to install a ‘media player application’, about 13 KB in size, with the Trojan hidden inside it.

As with all Android apps, the program asks for permissions to execute certain tasks, in this case it asks for permission to send SMS messages together with a prompt that identifies it as a ‘service that costs money’.

Once an unwitting user has installed the program the Trojan will start sending SMS messages costing several dollars per message without the owner of the device knowing.

At the moment the threat has only been perceived in Russia and on Russian networks, but Trojans can spread wide and fast in a very short amount of time.

To tell if your device may be affected, check your billing data for any premium SMS messages. If you have recently downloaded a media player it is also advisable to check the permissions to make sure the app is not sending out SMS messages.

Google recommends Android users only download apps from trusted sources and to avoid downloading media player apps that ask for SMS permissions.

If you have had similar problems with your Android device, please let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.


Magazine Online is South Africa's leading magazine for tech product reviews, tech news, videos, tech specs and gadgets.
Start reading now >
Download latest issue

Have Your Say

What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?
New smartphone announcements (10 votes)
Technological breakthroughs (13 votes)
Launch of new consoles, or notebooks (9 votes)
Innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions (8 votes)
Biotechnology or medical advancements (14 votes)
Better business applications (6 votes)