Two More Spyware Programs Identified on Android Devices

On the heels of Hong Tou Tou, two more spyware programs on Android devices have been captured by NetQin Mobile Inc. Named "SW.SecurePhone" and "SW.Qieting," the spyware may create serious privacy leaks.

Once installed, SW.SecurePhone will run in the background without any icon displayed, monitoring the phone and collecting data to save on the SD card. The data, including messages, call logs, phone location, recorded sounds around the phone and pictures in the phone, will then be uploaded to a remote server every 20 minutes. This will compromise privacy as well as create internet traffic. This spyware is mainly distributed in the U.S through Internet downloads.

SW.Qieting automatically forwards messages received to a monitoring phone without the user's awareness. Similarly, there is no icon displayed after installation, making it difficult for the user to be aware of the application’s installation.

More and more mobile threats to the Android are being discovered. The typical ones include Geinimi identified by NetQin last November and Hong Tou Tou last week. Because of this, users should be cautious when using their Android devices, especially when downloading applications from the Web.

To stay safe:
  • Download applications from trusted sources and check reviews, ratings and developer information before downloading.
  • Never blindly accept application requests. Closely monitor permissions requested by any application; an application should not request to do more than what it offers in its official list of features.
  • Be on alert for unusual fees, as this may be a sign that your phone is infected.
  • Install a trusted security application to protect your phone from security threats.

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