Feeds

French cops cuff man over €500K Android Trojan scam

Suspect had wanted to earn his crust as software dev

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

French police have arrested a 20-year-old man who allegedly earned €500,000 (£405,00, $650,000) through an Android malware scam.

The unnamed perp from the Amiens region allegedly tricked 17,000 victims into installing a Trojan that posed as a legitimate application on their Android smartphones. In reality, the malicious application sent SMS messages to premium rate numbers, allegedly earning the suspect a tiny slice for each SMS. Victims were left none the wiser until they received bills charging them for the fraudulent transactions.

The malware also stole login details for gaming and gambling websites. The suspect, who reportedly began his involvement with the scam last year, has admitted responsibility but told investigators he was motivated by technical curiosity and ambitions to become a software developer rather than greed, the BBC reports.

Android SMS malware is not a new problem. Most reported incidents have happened in either Russia or China but there are precedents for this sort of malfeasance in France. Trojan apps typically pose as popular mobile games, such as Angry Birds, or useful* utilities, such as Instagram.

Back in February, French cops cuffed two men linked to the distribution of the Foncy Trojan, another strain of malware that sent expensive SMS messages from infected Android smartphones.

More commentary on the security aspects on the case can be found in a blog post by Sophos here. ®

*Yes, we know, we'll be hearing from you in the comments...

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?