June 14, 2011

The world isn’t ending—but a “Rapture” themed Trojan plagues Android phones

We all heard the warnings leading up to May 21st, 2011 (the alleged day the world would end).  But on May 22nd life remained unchanged and everyone forgot about doomsday.  That is, everyone except for the unfortunate mobile users who had downloaded a Trojan that continued to plague their phones with a “Rapture” theme.

A legitimate application called “Holy ***king Bible” was found to be repackaged with malware and distributed in alternative markets.  Once an Android user downloaded what they assumed to be legitimate application, the Trojan would go to work feeding the infected device’s phone number and operator code back to a host service.  The Trojan could then respond to commands from a remote server and set off activities on the device.  Users would see a wallpaper caricature of a Stephen Colbert load on their phone.  Then, in keeping with the Colbert themed wallpaper, the Trojan accessed all of the contacts on the device and signed each person up to an email mailing list to Colbert’s US-based political action committee: ColbertPAC.

The Trojan was also programmed to send date-specific SMS spam messages to the contacts in their phones.  On May 21st these messages read: “cannot talk right now, the world is about to end,” or “just saw the four horsemen of the apocalypse and man did they have the worst case of road rage.”

While this Trojan may seem more ridiculous than malicious—it serves as another reminder of the need for users to protect against the threat of malware.  Be sure to take the time to read about the data and personal information apps access, (location, your personal information or text messages), download apps from sites you trust, and check an app’s rating and reviews to determine if an app is widely used and respected…otherwise, the next time you check your phone you may see wallpaper of Colbert looking back at you!

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