A Chinese Android App is Threatening Users with Hidden Malware
With news of fake Android apps springing up almost each week, it appears that hackers are determined to grab the headlines lately. The Chinese smartphone market has beaten the US market in the number of activations and local developers are also increasingly more active. The Roar of the Pharaoh may seem like an attractive game, but in reality it is a Trojan. Some security researchers warned that a malware piggy backs the game and stealthily gathers sensitive user information stored on Android devices, which will be sent to some malicious individuals in China.
The malware is based on the Andr/Stiniter-A Trojan, which is known to regularly send out text messages at users’ expenses. Like many other mobile malware, it sends out text messages at premium rates and it can read your SMS messages as well. As the carrier process the premium SMS payments, these bad guys already have the money and they’re long gone before you receive the phone bills. As Chinese developers are not allowed to submit apps to Google Play, users can only get the game from more dubious sources, such forums and file sharing websites. Clearly, the lesson here is to obtain only apps from official sources or you’ll end up getting a ridiculous amount of phone bills.
Curiously, the game doesn’t request for permission during the installation process and this would interest many mobile security experts. To complicate matters, the app runs as “GameUpdateService”, which makes it more difficult for users to identify the Trojan.