Spyware Compromises More Than 150000 Symbian Smartphones

A new variant of spyware "Spy.Felxispy" on Symbian devices causing privacy leakage has recently been captured by China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Centre. According to NetQin Mobile Inc., there are more than a dozen variants of the spyware since the first was spotted, and the latest has affected more than 150,000 devices.

Once installed, the spyware will turn on the conference call feature of the device without users' awareness. When users are making phone calls, the spyware automatically adds itself to the call to monitor the conversation. "The conference call feature allows more than two parties to join a conversation, and it's easily available to most smart-phone users. The privacy-stealers exploit the vulnerability of this feature for financial purposes. The privacy protection on mobile devices becomes more important than ever," said Zou Shihong, vice president of R&D from NetQin.

According to NetQin, the privacy stealers usually install the spyware on the phone or send MMS containing the spyware to users to lure them to click. As the spyware is artfully disguised, users will easily be trapped.

NetQin warns that smart-phone users are exposed to more mobile security threats than ever and users should always be cautious whenever performing operations on their mobile devices. To stay safe, NetQin experts give the following tips in using your phone:
  • Never click open MMS from unknown numbers as they may get your phone infected. Instead, delete them upon receipt.
  • Be on alert for unusual behavior on your phone, such as unusual SMS.
  • Don't leave your phone out of your sight in public environments.
  • Install a trusted security application to protect your phone from security threats.


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