Kaspersky Lab has revealed that is “actively developing technologies” to protect the Android mobile phone operating system and plans to release Kaspersky Mobile Security for Android in early 2011. The news came as the first malicious Trojan-SMS program targeted specifically at smartphones running on Google’s Android operating system was discovered.
Named Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a by Kaspersky Lab, it has already infected a number of mobile devices.
The new malicious program poses as a harmless media player application and users are prompted to install a file of just over 13KB with the standard Android extension .APK.
Once installed, the Trojan uses the phone to begin sending SMS messages to premium rate numbers without the owner’s knowledge or consent, resulting in money passing from a user’s account to that of the cybercriminals.
“The Trojan-SMS category is currently the most widespread class of malware for mobile phones, but Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a is the first to specifically target the Android platform,” said a statement from Kaspersky Lab.
Denis Maslennikov, Mobile Research Group manager at Kaspersky Lab, said this targeted attack was down to the popularity of the Android operating system.
“(Industry analyst) IDC has noted that those selling devices running Android are experiencing the highest growth in sales among smartphone manufacturers. As a result, we can expect to see a corresponding rise in the amount of malware targeting that platform,” Maslennikov said.