Smart Phone Zombie Virus Syphons $300K Per Day: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

The latest cash-stealing scam, an evasive "zombie virus," is costing Chinese smartphone owners hundreds of thousands of dollars every day.

The virus has already appeared on more than one million mobile phones in the Far East, and is reportedly responsible for sending out a barrage of text messages to the friends and family of each victim, costing them an average of $300,000 a day (or 2 million yuan).

Smart Phone Virus Clever and Malicious

The smart phone virus works similarly to a PC infected with a virus. Like a PC-based Trojan, the virus hides within a fake anti-virus smart-phone application, but once the application is installed, it releases all the names and phone numbers on a victim's SIM card to the hackers, who then take control of the phone and send out spam messages back to friends and family.

The text messages themselves are full of harmful links that will infect those who receive them. Some texts are even redirected to pay-to-text phone numbers that result in huge cash payouts for the hackers. (Source:

Issue to Get Worse Before it Gets Better

Malicious viruses like this have continued to plague smart phone owners for quite some time.

Imperva, a well-known data security company, predicts that this trend will likely get worse before it ever gets better. "We expect exponential growth in the number of incidents related to mobile devices in the next few years. From theft or compromise of information in these devices, through massive infection campaigns, and up to frequent exploit of the vulnerabilities introduced into the server side." (Source:

Copycat Viruses Make Protection Tricky

The Chinese National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Center is working on a number of ways to solve the problem, but based on the fact that the one million victim mark was reached by the end of the first week of September alone, November results are believed to be catastrophic, making combating the issue a seemingly never-ending battle.

Worse yet, a number of "copycat viruses" have also been reported, making preventive measures (like tracking those responsible for the attack) an ominous task.

While there has been no word yet on the presence of the virus in North America, smartphone users everywhere are warned to avoid text messages from unfamiliar sources.

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