Android ‘SMS Stealer’ Malware Hidden in World Cup Themed Apps

Be careful of any new World cup themed apps, lest you should be tricked into downloading a malicious app, says a recent report published by Trend Micro.

More than 375 spurious apps, based on World cup themes, targeting Android platform have cropped up in unauthorized third-party apps stores.

“Upon analysis, we found that the bulk of the malware in question are variants of prevalent mobile malware families,” read the blog post released on 12 June.

The malicious applications, of OpFake type, expose users to scams and threats, wherein premium rate members are sent messages and their sensitive data are stolen.

Trend Micro has warned people of one of the most dangerous Android malware called ‘SMS Stealer,’ which belongs to the malware family ANDROIDOS_SMSSTEALER.HBT.

It has the ability to connect to an attacker operated server and take further commands from there, which includes blocking victim’s incoming texts, sending out SMS, and installing additional malwares.

It is quite hazardous because of, “the capacity of criminals to colonize Android devices, not just for premium messaging abuse, but for other malicious purposes,” Tom Kellermann, Chief Cybersecurity Officer at Trend Micro told

“Because it can be utilized as part of a botnet, [SMS Stealer] can be updated to manipulate text messages, or turn Bluetooth on and off [for instance],” Kellermann added.

The malware could cause infected devices to ‘smish’ (or text malicious links to) contacts, such as family, friends and coworkers, he said.

App Fakery, a malware of ANDROIDOS_OPFAKE.CTD family, is also doing the rounds. It subscribes victims to premium services, leaks sensitive data, installs malicious links and shortcuts on the device’s home screen. Its remote server connects to 66 different domains, with each domain spoofing to famous websites like

As well as malwares like Premium Service Abuse (ANDROIDOS_OPFAKE.HTG), which forces the victim to be charged with an exorbitant premium service fees that they have never used, are prevalent.

Slot Game Swindling (ANDROIDOS_MASNU.HNT), another malware made use of by cybercriminals, filters user payment confirmation messages, thus cheating the users of the real amount spent on the paid games and tricking them into playing without restraint. Ultimately, the victims end up spending more than they actually intended to.

The blog warned people ‘to be very careful with their financial and personal information when using these apps (or not to use them at all).’

The blog also cautioned people to keep their mobile devices secure.

“Users are reminded not to download anything from third party app download sites, and to utilize mobile security solutions.”

The post Android ‘SMS Stealer’ Malware Hidden in World Cup Themed Apps appeared first on Hack Read.

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