Trojan Horse Found on Apple App Store, Google Play

Dennis Faas's picture

A security firm has discovered a Trojan horse posing as a smartphone application on both Apple's App Store and Google Play. Both Google and Apple have already removed the app, so it is no longer available for download.

The app, called "Find and Call," masked as a smartphone organization tool. In reality, however, it was a virus that, after being installed, spread to other devices by means of the device user's contact list.

Contact List Uploaded to Remote Server

The true nature of "Find and Call" was originally discovered by Kaspersky Lab, a prominent security firm.

According to Kaspersky, the app requests permission to "find friends in a phone book," then uses that access to send the user's contact list to a remote server. (Source:

But "Find and Call" never bothers to place the user in contact with new friends. Instead, the app sends a spammy text message to every contact listed in the user's Address Book.

That message includes a "helpful" link for the contact to download the application. When anyone does that, the cycle repeats itself.

In order to get new users to click on the message, "Find and Call" dresses up the invitation so it appears to be sent by the "friend" from whom the contact was stolen. However, users are totally unaware that "Find and Call" is sending these messages or carrying viral code.

Apple, Google Remove App

Apple says it has removed "Find and Call" because it violates the App Store guidelines by accessing users' contact lists without proper authorization.

"Find and Call" has also been removed from the Google Play store, where it was available for downloading to Android handsets. (Source:

The existence of such a dangerous app on Google Play is not particularly surprising to some observers, who point out that Android is an open platform.

However, many find it rather shocking to see malware like "Find and Call" in Apple's App Store, since the Cupertino, California-based firm has a reputation for being very cautious about which apps it makes available to the public. (Source:

In the end, the episode may provide Apple and Android users with a valuable lesson: don't simply assume that you're safe from such dangerous programs.

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