Love lure malware turns up at Android marketplace

History repeating

Android Trojan writers are trying more tricks to fool the unwary into downloading rogue applications with a new set of rogue applications.

The rogue apps – available via third-party app stores in China – pose as a "love test" application, an ebook reader, and a location tracker. Clued-up users should notice that the dodgy apps request permissions for far more functionality then they would reasonably need, such as the ability to send and receive SMS messages and monitor the state of a smartphone, but the scammers are hoping potential marks don't stop to consider this point.

The malware – detected by Trend Micro as AndroidOS-LUVRTAP-B – automatically executes once an infected smartphone is rebooted. The mobile Trojan uploads the infected users' International Mobile Subscriber Identity to a website under the control of hackers before surreptitiously subscribing victims to premium-rate text-messaging services.

Although these particular malicious apps have been removed from the affected app store, more instances of this kind of fraud can be expected. The incident provides yet more evidence that Android mobile malware developers are following much the same path, and using much the same lures, as their Windows PC predecessors. ®

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