Despite Google’s recent efforts to bulk up on Android Market security with the Bouncer system, a new Android malware has hit the scene and uses Facebook to spread. Google’s Bouncer system is supposed to screen malicious apps from penetrating Android Market, but this new malware circumvents the system by spreading through Facebook’s mobile app.
The malicious software disguises itself as an Android app named “any_name.apk” or “allnew.apk” and is sent to Android phones via Facebook’s mobile app. An Android user may receive a Facebook friend request and if the user goes to the requester’s profile to check them out, they could be diverted to another web page instead, where the malicious app will be automatically downloaded.
Although Android doesn’t by default allow apps to be automatically downloaded, some users choose to turn off this protection in order to have access to apps distributed outside of the Android Market. Once infected, the malware can send text messages in the background to premium rate phone services run by the scammers. These charges are usually applied directly to the user’s phone bill.