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SMS malware spreads on Android phones in Singapore

Zafirah Salim | Nov. 27, 2014
Affected users were sent a “Is this a photo?” message, accompanied by a shortlink that prompts users to install a PhotoViewer app which carries malware.


Screenshot of said malicious SMS (photo credits to M1's Facebook page)

The Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT) on Monday (Nov 24) issued a warning about a SMS virus that has been circulating across Android phones.

In an advisory on its website, SingCERT said the message reads: "Is this your photo?" and is accompanied by a shortlink. When clicked, the shortlink prompts users to download a mobile application called PhotoViewer. The application will then download malware onto the mobile phone, which will access the user's address book and send a similar SMS to the user's contacts. 

SingCERT also recommends receivers of such SMSes to delete the message immediately. And if users have installed the application, they should uninstall it and delete the Android Application Package (APK) file from the Downloads folder, which can be accessed from the browser's settings page. 

Besides SingCERT, the three local telcos - M1, StarHub and SingTel - have also posted warnings against the SMS virus on their Facebook pages. As a form of precaution, StarHub and SingTel added that they have blocked access to the web link on its networks, so that customers who accidentally click on the link will not be able to access it.

 

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