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Mobile Malware Costing Smartphone Users Big Bucks

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(Credit: Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio)

(Credit: Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –It’s no longer just your home computer that’s being targeted — malware is making its way to your smartphone, too.

Only a small percentage of Android users came in contact with mobile malware this year, but it cost them a million bucks.

One big threat — mobile pick-pocketing via text message by the trojan GGTracker.

“It essentially works by scamming the user into agreeing to terms of service, and sending premium SMS on their behalf, and in fact, billing them behind the scenes,” says Derek Halliday, with the mobile security firm Lookout.

Halliday says another threat involves a virus called DroidDream, which can grab your password and personal info.

The malware is maliciously bundled with some apps that are normally downloaded from outside the Android Marketplace — but even the official store has been susceptible. Apple, with a smaller market share, is targeted less.

“Consumers should really pay attention to two things: what permission is that app asking for, and what does it have access to. Does it seem legit? Is it asking them to agree to certain sets and terms of service that are hard to read or not available? If that’s the case, they should be careful about that application and possibly uninstall it,” Halliday advises.

Halliday also warns about clicking on unsafe links in mobile websites that could automatically install malware.

Lookout offers a free security app:

iPhones

Android devices

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