Smartphones- The New Target Of Scams

Beware smartphone users! Cyber hackers are now back to business, targeting your mobile phones.

Not so long before, dial-up web users experienced a hoax called Trojan dialers. The phone modems of the unwary victims were hacked resulting to whooping telephone bills.

The dial-up web hacking was stopped when broadband internet access was introduced. Although just recently, security experts found out that smartphone users are victimized using the same method.

Research Engineer Dinesh Venkatesan wrote a topic in his website about Java Dialer, a virus aimed to hack mobile phone bills. The blog post includes warnings for mobile users, due to the increasing amount of scam reports their analysis lab has been receiving recently. The Java Dialer which is the new version of Trojan Dialer is now on action and is being dispersed to the public in the form of SMS messages.

Java Dialers used a similar approach from its forerunner version. The messages sent to smartphone users were connected to pornography.

The infected Java JAD includes a data bin file containing premium calls to a number of destinations. This application performs the hoax by creating text messages with the selected high-cost destinations.

Due to this, manufacturers are now thinking of pre-loading smartphones with anti-virus applications to hinder data and service failure.

Mikko Hypponen,   the chief researcher of F-Secure said that there were already a few reported anomalous diallers in the past months.

Below is an edited version of the F-Secure’s scam guide.

A common scam is when a person opens a pay per minute number at a local telecommunication operator and began sending SMS messages to different mobile numbers. The SMS’s usually contains a deceiving message that imposes the need to call a certain number.

When a person calls the number indicated in the message, the call will be transferred into a premium rate or pay per minute number. This number was devised with a recording program, designed to make the conversation last longer. And because the number called was pay per minute, it will definitely result to a whooping phone bill in the part of the caller.

So if ever you receive a message prompting you to call an anonymous number, never do what it says. If you are in doubt, either call your directory operator to know the location and owner of the number or just ignore it.

According to Hypponen, mobile phones are now the target of malwares because they can easily steal money through pay per minute calls or premium messages, unlike hacking computers where a malware needs to disable a lot of protection before it can actually access important data.

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