A new mobile Trojan app masquerading as a game has been discovered on Google Play, highlighting the continuing preference of criminals to target the popular Android platform.
According to Sophos, the Trojan pretends to be a legitimate Chinese game 'The Roar of the Pharaoh'.
The fake game's discovery is seen by some as proof that cyber criminals are targeting Android more than other mobile ecosystems.
"Criminals continue to target the Android mobile platform churning out additional variants to line their pockets," said Sophos security advisor, Chester Wisniewski.
Speaking to V3, Trend Micro security analyst Rik Ferguson highlighted Android's open nature and the lack of moderation on Google Play as key reasons for criminal's growing preference.
"Criminals are attracted by the openness of the Android ecosystem. The possibility to use multiple outlets (App stores) for malware is a powerful tool," said Ferguson.
"Also, unlike the world of iOS, even in the official Google Play market, there is no up-front vetting of code, meaning that a criminal can release his malware to the entire Android user population more or less instantly."
Sophos noted that the malware gathers and sends sensitive information stored on the device to the Trojan's authors, like many of the malicious apps recently discovered on Android.
It also hits the user in their pocket by sending SMS messages to premium rate SMS numbers and is capable of reading the user's own messages.
The only atypical behaviour Sophos recorded is that the app's malware is tied to a fake "GameUpdateService", a variation on the common practice to infect the device using by asking for specific permissions during installation.
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