Feeds

French cops cuff man over €500K Android Trojan scam

Suspect had wanted to earn his crust as software dev

Security for virtualized datacentres

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...

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.