Lookout is now warning us about a new threat that could possibly infect our Android phones. The latest development is a new type of malware that bypasses Google’s jurisdiction to get direct access to your phone. It’s scary stuff.
Last month Google remotely removed more than 25 applications from the market on the conviction that these were hiding a malware called DroidDream within its files. After Google handled the applications, these same guys went on to develop this new browser-based malware that is more advanced than any other ever developed for a mobile phone.
Normally malware would be hidden inside an application that you download from the market. With this new development, the malware is packaged with an APK that you can download right from the web. The site comes with an Android Market-like design, and functions pretty similar to the Google made version to give people the impression that they might be working with a Google created website. When you’ve found an application you want to install, the website takes you to a fake installation page that mimics that of the Android market and then you’re prompted to install it via Android downloader.
After being installed, the application goes to work and pings different servers that will register your number to different premium SMS subscription services. These services generally would require you to answer questions or a PIN to register. This is where this malware flexes its muscles: It’ll communicate with the malicious server without you ever knowing about it — until the bill comes of course.
Smartphones are starting to see malware and software is being developed to protect them from it. Android has been experiencing the worst attacks, but luckily Google is always working hard trying to protect you against these bad boys. The best way to protect your phone is by staying away from online hacked APK of an application that you can download from the market for a small fee. Instead, pay that small fee now so you won’t have to pay an even bigger fee later.