Xafecopy Trojan, a new malware detected in India; it disguises itself as an app to steals money via mobile phones

Experts at Kaspersky Lab have found traces showing that cybercriminals gang promulgating other trojans are sharing malware code among themselves.

A new malware Xafecopy Trojan has been detected in India which steals money through victims mobile phones, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said in a report.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Around 40 percent of the target of the malware has been detected in India. "Kaspersky Lab experts have uncovered a mobile malware targeting the WAP billing payment method, stealing money from victims mobile accounts without their knowledge," the report said.

Xafecopy Trojan is disguised as useful apps like BatteryMaster, and operates normally. The trojan secretly loads malicious code onto the device.

Once the app is activated, the Xafecopy malware clicks on web pages with Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) billing, a form of mobile payment that charges costs directly to the users mobile phone bill. After this the malware silently subscribes the phone to a number of services, the report said.

The process also does not require the user to register a debit or credit card or set up a username and password.

The malware uses technology to bypass captcha systems designed to protect users by confirming the action is being performed by a human. In the captcha system, websites show a set of some letter or numbers which are required to be manually filled by the user.

"Xafecopy hit more than 4,800 users in 47 countries within the space of a month, with 37.5 percent of the attacks detected and blocked by Kaspersky Lab products targeting India, followed by Russia, Turkey, and Mexico," the report said.

Experts at Kaspersky Lab have found traces showing that cybercriminals gang promulgating other trojans are sharing malware code among themselves.

"Our research suggests WAP billing attacks are on the rise. Xafecopys attacks targeted countries where this payment method is popular. The malware has also been detected with different modifications, such as the ability to text messages from a mobile device to premium-rate phone numbers, and to delete incoming text messages to hide alerts from mobile network operators about stolen money," Kaspersky Lab Senior Malware Analyst Roman Unuchek said.

Kaspersky Lab, Managing Director- South Asia, Altaf Halde said that Android users need to be extremely cautious in how they download apps.

"It is best not to trust third-party apps, and whatever apps users do download should be scanned locally with the Verify Apps utility. But beyond that, Android users should be running a mobile security suite on their devices."

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