Security firm NQ Mobile has identified a dangerous Android malware that has already infected the devices of over 600,000 users from China. Dubbed “Bill Shocker” (a.expense.Extension.a), the threat is capable of inflating mobile services bills by sending out spam messages from the impacted phones.
According to experts, Bill Shocker is an SDK-type virus that’s spread by being attached to several popular Android apps, including Sohu News and Tencent QQ Messenger. The malicious variants of these apps are served on third-party apps stores.
Once it finds itself on a device, the malware takes control of the contact list, Internet connections, and dialing and texting functionality. Then, it starts sending spam text messages.
Bill Shocker also has the ability to update itself and automatically infect other applications.
NQ Mobile provides users with an anti-malware app that can protect Android devices against the threat.
Android users are advised to download only verified applications and only from trusted sources. In addition, they should avoid installing applications that request too many permissions.