Capping off what has been, unfortunately, a busy week for mobile malware news, reports have surfaced to indicate that freshly discovered malware targeting Russian-speaking Android users is wreaking havoc.
The malware in question “abuses a person’s contact list to try and infect other devices.”
Security vendor Eset’s research was summarized Thursday by PC World, which revealed that the malware, called “Android/Samsapo.A” “can download other malicious files to a phone, steal personal information from a device such as text messages and block phone calls.”
Robert Lipovsky, an Eset malware researcher, says the malware uploads data to a domain that is no more than a week old.
Samsapo spreads by sending text messages from an infected device to other people in the victim’s contact list, a worm-like characteristic that has been used by other mobile malware programs. The text message says “Is this your photo?” in Russian and has a link to an Android application package (.APK) file containing a copy of Samsapo.
“This technique wouldn’t raise an eyebrow on Windows, but is rather novel on Android,” Lipovsky wrote.
As always, it is recommended that Android users avoid downloading apps from third-party platforms and websites that may offer questionable if not outright dangerous or threatening content.