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News  Android
News  Android
Fake Av and ransomware

Ransomware: The new smartphone virus evil

Ransomware has been a nasty plague for PC users for years. This is where the victims are forced to pay the virus authors to unlock their systems. The bad news for smartphone users is there are now reports in the wild of the same thing targeting their handsets.

Symantec is warning Android users of Android.Fakedefender which has elements of both fake AV alerts and ransomware. Infected users see a realistic looking "virus scan" but find their handset is locked up with a warning that they need to pay to unlock it.

News  Android
Sick angry brieds

"Cramming" - tricking users into agreeing to a bogus charge

Jesta Digital LLC, trading as Jester, has just been fined $1.2m and must issue refunds for running a scam whereby it told Angry Birds players they had a virus and could clear it by clicking their link. Known as "cramming", the users then found their phone bill had been charged for what in effect was a non-existent service.

The FTC found that the charge wasn't just a one off either - in a brazen act of outright fraud, Jamster ended up charging them $9.99 per month for bogus ringtones and other worthless "content" which they tried to claim the user had agreed to. The proposed settlement bans Jesta from making deceptive statements about viruses and anti-virus software, the price of goods or services, or conditions of a purchase.  They must also get express verifiable authorization from a consumer before it can charge their mobile phone bill.

News  Android
Green and black Bomb

Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad

That's the name given to a new Android virus discovered by Kaspersky labs, and it looks to be the worst one yet.

It's a trojan which simultaneously attacks on multiple fronts including an attempt to gain root access. Most users don't know, nor need to know, what root access allows, and the major manufacturers ship their handsets with this disabled for security. However, both Android enthusiasts and hackers know full well if a handset has been rooted their Apps can access all its data unrestricted.

A sophisticated command and control system, runnning on remote servers, sets the handset up so that it not only "phones home" with all the data, but then becomes a zombie under the control of the bad guys.

News  Android
Sky logo

Syrian Electronic Army

Sky's Google Play store Apps have had their logo changed to the Syrian Electronic Army's and and their description showing the message "Syrian Electronic Army was here". Sky has issued a statement advising its users remove their Apps until the issue is resolved.

Matthew Keys, the former Reuters social media editor, says the attack was confirmed to him by an unnamed SEA hacker.

Syria is currently in the midst of a vicious civil war. The Syrian Electronic Army is thought to be aligned with the country's dictator, Bashar al-Assad.