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Majority of Mobile Malware Now Reliant On Toll Fraud 39

Posted by timothy
from the reverse-the-charges-operator dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Spyware is no longer the primary concern with unwanted software on mobile devices. According to mobile security firm Lookout, most mobile malware performs 'toll fraud' — billing victims using premium SMS services. The problem is very geographically-dependent, worst in areas with weak SMS regulation, particularly China, Ukraine, and Russia, where users are 10,000 times more likely to have malware on their phones than users in Japan, for example. Other risks include mobile ads surreptitiously uploading personal data, as well as apps that download other malware without users knowing. The full report is available."
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Majority of Mobile Malware Now Reliant On Toll Fraud

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  • Re:But... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dinfinity (2300094) on Monday September 10, 2012 @05:08AM (#41286027)

    Looking at Europe, policies indeed seem to influence matters significantly: https://www.mylookout.com/_gfx/page-images/state-mobile-security/likelihood-heat-map.jpg [mylookout.com]

    I'm not sure whether France and Norway are particularly lax in their SMS regulation, but it could be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 10, 2012 @06:15AM (#41286239)

    I'm working as a programmer since nearly 20 years and I just love technology. I use Linux as a desktop since the early days of Slackware, back when it took quite a leap of faith.

    My cellphone? An iPhone... With a prepaid SIM card!

    That way I'm sure that: a) I'll spend way less than any "plan" (master plan one could say ; ) any operator could come up with and b) no malware / premium SMS service / crazy app/site eating my 3G bandwith can never "eat" more than the data limit available on my prepaid card.

  • by berashith (222128) on Monday September 10, 2012 @07:46AM (#41286619)

    you would think this is a reasonable request. My wife had a twenty dollar charge on a tmobile account, and they said that she had used "premium" network services. She had to pay that time, and went through every formal protest that she could just to record that it wasnt her and we would not pay twice. All of the texting plans outside of pure data ( g-chat, g-voice, email , etc) had already been disabled. 2 months later it happened again.We had to fight tooth and nail to get them to remove the charge, and then they ended up forgetting the promise to undo the charge and said it was our responsibility to have the charges removed by the vendor... completely ignoring the fact that as no service was purchased, there was no vendor to speak with. They also tried to say that anyone with the phone's email address could place charges to the number , and the tmobile would just pass through the charges. We knew this was obvious bullshit, and got the guy to bac down on that one. Hours later they finally realised that this is their issue, and that they were about to lose customers, so they gave the cash back " within 90 days".

  • by xaxa (988988) on Monday September 10, 2012 @08:29AM (#41286925)

    It has some uses (see other replies), and it's OK if you have strong regulation of the service providers.

    Example here [phonepayplus.org.uk], which was news here last week:

    A malware attack targeted at 18 countries that cost unsuspecting users £15 every time they tried to open a ‘free’ app has been cut off by PhonepayPlus, the UK’s premium rate telephone services regulator. Sanctions imposed by the regulator’s Tribunal will see all money returned to UK consumers on top of a £50,000 fine imposed on the provider of the premium rate shortcodes that enabled the apps to fraudulently charge smartphone users.

    none of this £27,850 of UK consumers’ money reached the fraudsters.

    (The apps were "free" versions of popular apps, downloaded from alternative app stores -- not the Google one -- or websites.)

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