500,000 Android Smartphones in China Infected with SMS-Sending Malware

Smartphones are on the rise in China. The country has a billion mobile phones, a fast-growing proportion of which are smartphones, and the mobile ecosystem is reported t be susceptible to malicious hackers. According to an assessment from a security company, almost half a million smartphones in the country have been infected by an SMS payment malware coming from Android app marketplaces.

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Given the ban on Google Play in China, Android users turn to third-party app marketplaces. A report by TrustGo says Android malware is prevalent in GFan, one of the country’s bigger app marketplaces. An Android-oriented malware called Trojan!SMSZombie takes control of smartphones’ SMS subsystem and sends premium messages that charge the user a hefty sum.

According to TrustGo, the malware disguises itself as wallpaper apps, but will automatically download an additional app, which then seeks administrative control, then takes control of the smartphone’s messaging system. A removal tool is available from TrustGo.

Read on at Android Authority.