The walled city of Android has finally been breached by a Trojan. This problem was first noted in Russia as a local outbreak, but it may have far reaching consequences and definitely shows that the Android operating system needs some security measures to be put in place right away.
Kaspersky, the anti-virus major, was the first to detect this Trojan and recognized it as ‘SMS AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a’.
The real problem is that it is downloaded as a typical .APK Android app and so you will hardly ever suspect that something may be wrong with the file. Kaspersky has also stated that this is the first known Trojan to affect the Android OS.
How the Trojan virus enters Android Device
This Trojan poses as a media player app. Once you install it on your Android phone, it begins its foul play by sending SMS to numbers which charge a premium rate, without your knowledge or consent. Of course the people who have created the virus are also running those premium numbers and hence they profit a lot.
SMS based viruses are quite common for mobile devices, with the first one popping up as early as 2004. Even high-end smartphones are now at risk, so it seems. And because of the phenomenal growth of the Android platform, hackers and all sorts of e-thugs are targeting it these days. This calls for preventive measures from Google and one hopes that they are doing something about it.
The good news however is that Kaspersky Labs has already started work on security software for Android operating system and plans to release at least one such software commercially next year. Till the time Kaspersky Mobile Security for Android is available, you may want to use one of the security apps available in the Android market. These apps did not have many takers till date, but perhaps now things will change.
But then, a bit of wisdom from your side may be all that’s needed to avoid imminent danger. This Trojan is downloaded from a malicious site and not from the Android Market, so don’t download it or any other app which needs to be making premium rate calls or SMS from your Android Smartphone.