New Android malware infects 620,000 Chinese users

NQ Mobile, a mobile security provider, has revealed a new form of Android malware, called ‘Bill Shocker’, which has infected 620,000 Chinese Droid users.

The threat carried by the malware was SMS spamming from victims’ phones, remote control of devices and collecting personal information, and in various cases subverting users’ text contract quotas, leading to further charges.

The malware was found using NQ Mobile’s RiskRanker cloud scanning engine. NQ Mobile has issued an alert warning and says that Bill Shocker “poses a serious threat to Android users” due to it being able to decimate a victim’s funds remotely.

As a result, the security company has put out an anti-malware app for free “as a public service”, which can be found here.

NQ Mobile has also doled out advice to app users:

  • Only download apps from trusted sources, reputable application stores, and markets, and be sure to check reviews, ratings and developer information before downloading
  • Never accept app requests from unknown sources. Closely monitor permissions requested by any app; an app should not request permission to do more than what it offers in its official list of features
  • Be alert for unusual behaviour on the part of mobile phones and be sure to download a trusted security application that can scan the apps being downloaded onto your mobile device

Nothing which can’t be sorted by adhering to the rules on Google Play, it seems. And with the news back in October that the 3.9.16 version of Google Play will contain a malware scanner for Android devices, there are ways and means for users not to get scammed.

However, threats will of course remain. “This is an important reminder that these threats are very real and can have devastating effects,” writes NQ Mobile in a blog post.

And according to the Cisco Annual Security Report published yesterday, Android malware grew substantially faster than all other web-delivered malware.

This is perhaps not much a surprise, given the previous proliferation of Droid malware. However, the Cisco stats are interesting; Android growth was at a whopping 2,577% over 2012, yet it must be noted that mobile only accounts for 0.42% of total malware incidents.

So is the battle for Android malware being won, or is it just beginning?

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