Saturday, November 22, 2014

'Sophisticated' Android malware hits phones

Android has become a popular target for malicious programs

Hundreds of thousands of Android phones have been infected with malware that uses handsets to send spam and buy event tickets in bulk.

Mobile security firm Lookout said the virus, called NotCompatible, was the most sophisticated it had seen.

The cyberthieves behind it had recently rewritten its core code to make it harder to defeat, it said.

Mobile malware aimed at smartphones is steadily getting more complex, said security company Wandera.

Jeremy Linden, a security analyst at Lookout, said: "The group behind NotCompatible are operating on a different plane to the typical mobile malware maker."

Victims for rent

Usually, he said, mobile malware campaigns lasted only a couple of weeks but the NotCompatible creators had been operating for more than two years.

The bug first appeared in 2012 and was now on its third iteration, he said, adding that the latest version had been rewritten recently and was now as sophisticated as the malware aimed at desktop computers.

"They are successful enough to make it worth ripping out the back end of the malware to make it be much more stable and resistant to efforts to take it down," he said