Suspected Android SMS malware authors arrested in Paris

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Android malwareAccording to media reports, French computer crime investigators have charged two men in connection with money-making malware that targets Android smartphone users.

The men, who were charged in the Bobigny area of Paris, are suspected of infecting more than 2000 Android devices with the Foncy Trojan horse.

Late last year, Kaspersky’s Denis Maslennikov wrote up an interesting blog post describing how Foncy was targeting European mobile phone users, earning cash from premium rate SMS services.

Malicous Android app iconMore recently, Foncy has also appeared in the form of a fake EA Sports Madden NFL 2012 game.

The Trojan exploited a vulnerability to root the phone, sending SMS messages and silently joining an IRC channel to receive further commands from remote hackers.

Clearly, when a user runs what they believe to be an American football game the very last thing they expect to happen is to be handing control of their device over to a malicious hacker.

According to the French authorities, the two men alleged to be behind the malware earned up to 100,000 Euros from the scheme.

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Is it any wonder we are seeing an increase in Android malware activity, if the bad guys are making money out of it?

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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