Virus Infects Half Million Android Devices in China 

Aug. 20, 2012

A Santa Clara, Calif.-based mobile security firm on Friday said it has discovered a virus originating in China that enables hackers to take remote control of a mobile user’s SMS payment capability. TrustGo Security Labs said the aggressive Trojan!SMSZombie.A virus originated in China’s largest Android marketplace GFan. The virus, which has been found in seven apps in Chinese Android markets and has infected more than half a million users, is particularly dangerous, according to TrustGo, because it includes self-protection that makes it difficult to fight back against.

“By waiting to deliver malicious code until after installation, this virus is difficult to detect,” said Xuyang Li, CEO of TrustGo. “Sophisticated malware like this highlights the fact that the openness of the Android platform is a double-edged sword. Users are able to access an amazing breadth and variety of apps, but must take precautions to ensure the apps they want have not been compromised by hackers.”