Android smartphone users should be aware there is a new malware – a malicious software program – that is targeting their phones to commit fraud. Adaptive Mobile first discovered the attack, which named it “Gazon,” and believes it has infected more than 4,000 devices.
The malware works by sending people text messages offering a $200 gift card from Amazon and providing a link to click-through. Clicking on the link brings victims to a page where they are instructed to download what looks like an Amazon app. It isn’t, and that’s how malware is planted in their phones. According to an Adaptive Mobile press release, while the victims are clicking through the app’s pages, the creator of the malware is earning money though their clicks. What’s more, the malware accesses victims’ contact lists and sends those people scam messages, taking advantage of the fact that they will be more likely to click through if the message appears to come someone they know.
Adaptive Mobile says this is one of the largest messaging-related mobile outbreaks to be uncovered, infecting phones in 30 different countries and generating thousands of click-throughs. While text messages are the primary means through which these malicious messages are distributed, the scammers also use other channels such as Facebook and email.
To protect yourself and others, Adaptive Mobile suggests: