Trojan Hits Android

Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Business News [ 0 Comments ]

Unless you’re Jeff Goldblum in the movie “Independence Day,” chances are that you hate the idea of a computer virus, and I’m sure on every other day Mr. Goldblum hates them too. While surfing the Internet, minding your own business, you click a link and all of a sudden your screen freezes or you send a spam email to everyone you’ve ever known. The idea of getting a virus grips even the most stalwart computer genius with fear of complete loss of data or programs, causing people to spend hard earned money on virus-fighting software.

Virus protection is one of the first things people will install on a new PC, many won’t go online without it, so why are we so carefree with our smartphones? If smartphones can now do just as much as a desktop, wouldn’t they be just as susceptible to a hacker’s malicious attacks?

The answer for a long time was yes, but that it was highly unlikely. The reason for the lack of worry was because there was no smartphone operating system that was dominant enough for a virus to spread rampantly. Much like a regular computer virus, phone viruses can only affect one kind of operating system, so with so many people using a very wide variety of systems on their smartphones, it wasn’t practical for most hackers to create a virus.

Unfortunately recent events seem to point that this time is about over. It’s being reported that the first Android-based Trojan virus had an outbreak in Russia. The virus is an application that can be downloaded outside of the regulated Android Market that poses as a media player. However, once downloaded the virus begins sending SMS messages to premium rate numbers without letting the user know. The virus creators have been found to be connected to the numbers the messages are being sent to, allowing them to profit off of the Trojan that they created.

Many speculate the reason that these hackers are targeting Android systems because they are outselling iPhones so far, looking to become one of the more dominant operating systems for smartphones. Fortunately there are anti-virus apps that can be downloaded from the Android Market, applications that were once thought to be unnecessary.

It didn’t last long, but the age of virus-free smartphones seems to now be officially over. With that in mind, be careful what application you download, who knows if they are what they say to be.

Andrew Sale is an expert writer based in San Diego, California.  He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs.


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