Security firm discovers first Android Trojan

US IT security software specialist Kaspersky Lab has announced the discovery of what it says is the first Trojan virus designed to run on the Google-backed Android operating system for smartphones. Once active, the virus begins to send SMS messages to premium rate numbers, with the charges passed back to the user.

The virus, which is named ‘Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer’ has, Kaspersky said, already infected a number of devices. The Trojan masquerades as a media player application and requires the user to install a standard .APK file.

Kaspersky said that the Trojan-SMS category is “currently the most widespread class of malware for mobile phones,” adding that there have been isolated cases of Android handsets becoming infected with spyware since last year.

The firm said that the growing popularity of the Android platform among smartphone users makes an increase in malware designed for the OS inevitable. “The IT market research and analysis organization 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,” said Denis Maslennikov, Mobile Research Group Manager at Kaspersky Lab.

Users should be wary of requests made for access to services during the installation of new applications, the firm said.

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