KASPERSKY has detected the first widespread malware that targets the Android smartphones.
Called the Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a, it proliferates in the guise of a harmless media player, which when installed will send out premium rate text messages without the owner's knowledge.
Denis Maslennikov, the mobile research group manager at Kaspersky, said this form of malware, also known as SMS trojan, can rake up huge bills.
SMS trojan is the most widespread class of malware for mobile phones and the AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a is the first to target the Android platform. The new malicious program penetrates smartphones running Android in the guise of a harmless media player application. Users are prompted to install a file of just over 13 KB with the standard Android extension .APK. Once installed on the phone, the Trojan uses the system to begin sending SMSs to premium rate numbers without the owner’s knowledge or consent, resulting in money passing from a user’s account to that of the cybercriminals.
As the Android smartphone market is experiencing high growth, users can expect a rise in malware attacks in the future.
In light of this, the company plans to release Kaspersky Mobile Security for Android in early 2011.
In the meantime, Maslennikov urged users to pay close attention to the services that an application requests to access when it is being installed.
For a security concern, Android users are advised to download from a trusted source and avoid downloading media player files that request permission to access your text messages, particularly if they want to send messages from the phone.