Well, for the second week on the trot, the Chinese are back on the Life of Android newsdar with a game called The Roar of the Pharaoh – on the face of it a rip-snorting Egyptian epic, but in reality not an Egyptian at all, but rather a Trojan.
But more than merely historically confused, according to Sophos security researcher Chester Wisniewski, piggy backing on The Roar of the Pharaoh game Android app is a malware Trojan that harvests sensitive information stored on your device, such as phone numbers, personal details and technical details, which it then sends to the Chinese villains behind it.
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As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Andr/Stiniter-A Trojan, identified as being behind all this skulduggery, then starts firing out SMS messages at your expense.
“Like many other mobile Trojans, this one sends SMS messages to premium rate SMS numbers and is capable of reading your SMSs as well,” said Wisniewski, reporting on the app in his blog. And as mobile phone companies process the SMS payments “the bad guys have their money and are long gone before you ever receive the phone bill with the fraudulent charges.”
As there’s no Google Play market in China, The Roar of the Pharoah, despite being a legitimate game, can only be sourced from more dubious app stores, so the lesson here,clearly, is to only download content from official sources or end up picking up the (phone) bill.