Russian Android malware can spread through text messages

Android malware that spreads via text message has been observed making its way around Russia — not the newest trick in the book, but it hasn’t been seen before on the mobile OS. Should you be worried? Probably not, but it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant. The worm was first observed by Robert Lipovsky of ESET, a mobile security outfit, and is known to the company’s malware detection app as Samsapo.A. 

A piece of malware targeting Russian-speaking Android users abuses a person’s contact list to try and infect other devices, according to security vendor Eset. The malware, call “Android/Samsapo.A” can download other malicious files to a phone, steal personal information from a device such as text messages and block phone calls,wrote Robert Lipovsky, an Eset malware researcher. The malware uploads data to a domain that was registered about a week ago. Samsapo spreads by sending text messages from an infected device to other people in the victim’s contact list, a worm-like characteristic that has been used by other mobile malware programs. The text message says “Is this your photo?” in Russian and has a link to an Android application package (.APK) file containing a copy of Samsapo.

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