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New Android malware can hack your smartphone via text

Here’s another good reason to install only trusted apps and games in your Android device obtained through the Google Play Store: NQ Mobile reports that they have managed to track and isolate a new Android malware that’s able to hack your smartphone via text. Dubbed TigerBot, this new breed of Android Malware is able to control your smartphone via text, which can trigger a number of behaviors in your device that ranges from recording your voice messages and surroundings to uploading your current GPS location to god knows who.

NQ Mobile says that the new malware was found through non-official Android channels and hides in your device by masquerading as legitimate applications. The security firm says that the malware listens for a specific kind of SMS that has encoded instructions in it. When the SMS has the code that the malware is looking for, it then hides the message so the user does not see it, then executes whatever command is contained in the said SMS that include the following:

  • Record the sounds in the phone, including the phone calls, the surrounding sounds and etc.
  • Change the network setting.
  • Upload the current GPS location.
  • Capture and upload the image.
  • Send SMS to a particular number.
  • Reboot the phone.
  • Kill other running processes.
NQ Mobile says that to avoid being a victim of said malware, it’s important to follow several simple security steps. One is only download applications from trusted sources, reputable application stores, and markets, and be sure to check reviews, ratings and developer information before downloading, and never accept application requests from unknown sources. Also, closely monitoring permissions requested by any application is also a good idea, and any application that request permission to do more than what it offers in its official list of features should automatically raise a red flag when you’re about to install it.
Source: NQ Mobile