A particularly sophisticated malware botnet has been discovered to be affecting over 100,000 Android devices in China – and what’s more it’s making its creators millions of dollars.
A report by security company Symantec detailed how the affected handsets are set to automatically call premium-rate numbers
In a blog post on its site, Symantec highlighted Android B.Master, discovered on a third-party app for configuring phone settings is affecting 10,000 to 30,000 handsets per day.
Once installed, the malware secretly takes over the user’s handset and generates revenue for the hackers by secretly transmitting premium-rate SMS messages and accessing premium-rate pay-per-view videos, Symantec claims.
Creators of the botnet can also delete the information from the device’s records and block messages that could alert the user to the scam, Symantec said.
A spokesperson for Symantec chillingly concluded: “This is not the first example of an active, revenue-generating Android botnet we have seen. However, considering the huge market for Android apps, the availability of third-party app stores… and the massive revenue which can be generated from this type of botnet, Android.Bmaster’s million-dollar botnet certainly won’t be the last.”