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Mobile Malware Creators Pay $100 for Active Google Play Accounts

Malware developers targeting Google’s Android platform are reportedly seeking new ways to establish trustworthy delivery channels for their creations. Cyber-criminals are listening to the old business adage that “one has to spend money to make money.”

According to a report by tech journalist Brian Krebs, an Android virus writer is offering as much as $100 for a verified developer account tied to a dedicated server. The report also mentions that the same buyer is providing a do-it-yourself Android malware creation toolkit dubbed Perkele used to intercept incoming SMS messages from banks.

Web-injector malware working in tandem with mobile banking malware for the interception of mTANs (Mobile Transaction authentication number) is nothing new – it’s an approach that Zeus (and ZitMo) has been using for quite a while. However, if these threats turn up on Google Play – or worse, in applications that have already built a reputation among its users, their rate of success will dramatically increase.

Mobile malware is not only aggressive adware: it is becoming more and more focused on reaching your pockets, either via premium-rate SMS scams or direct e-banking fraud. The emergence of malware automation toolkits for Android will lend a helping hand not only to long-time cyber-crooks, but also to newcomers who don’t have enough programming skills to develop their own malicious code.

About The Author

Senior E-Threat Analyst

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.

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