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Android users hit by evolved NotCompatible malware attack

15 Mar 2013
Android plush toy

Mobile security firm Lookout has detected an evolved version of the NotCompatible malware targeting the Android ecosystem with spam email messages.

Lookout warned that while the mobile malware is not new, its authors have adapted it to be even more dangerous, by changing its infection method.

"Back in May 2012 we first reported on NotCompatible, a remote proxy threat distributed by hacked websites. Once installed, the NotCompatible malware acts as a proxy, thereby allowing its owner to transmit and receive network data through the infected device," warned Lookout.

"Since the initial detection, we've continued to actively monitor NotCompatible, and it showed relatively low activity levels with occasional moderate spikes.

"That's all changed over the past few days, as we've seen a sudden surge in detection data across the Mobile Threat Network - peaking at almost 20,000 detections per day between Sunday and Monday this past weekend."

Lookout urged Android users to extra vigilant of suspicious emails to avoid falling victim to the scam.

"To stay safe, be wary of any emails that have the subject line Hot News. Just as if you're on your PC, use common sense when clicking on links from your phone. If your mobile device unexpectedly starts downloading a file that you weren't expecting, don't click, delete it," warned a Lookout spokesman.

The malware is one of many to hit the Android ecosystem. Prior to it numerous security experts warned that ongoing issues with Android's security have made it a popular target for cybercriminals.

Earlier in the year experts from Trend Micro and F-Secure cited ongoing fragmentation in the Android ecosystem as a key security concern.

Trend Micro predicted that the number of threats targeting Android will break past the one million mark by the end of 2013.

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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