Apps Secretly Sending Pricey Texts

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Smartphones that run Google’s Android operating system are increasingly becoming targets for malware. The harmful software gains access to devices via adware or trojans and starts wreaking havoc for users – sending expensive premium text messages is just one example of the potential damages. This is what Bitdefender, a manufacturer of Internet security software, has found.

In their study, two areas were examined: adware and trojans. Adware delivers unsolicited advertisements to phones, normally in the form of pop-ups. A trojan is a type of malware that embeds itself in a device and creates harm from within.

Next page: What do these trojans do exactly?

Among the main malware dangers: trojans that send expensive, fee-based text messages. Just over 12% of the total afftected devices were plagued by this type of trojan. The malware is installed without the user’s knowledge – usually because it is hiding in a seemingly useful app that the user downloads. Once the trojan has been downloaded, it makes itself at home in the device.

At 8.4%, the infection rate is highest in India. The U.S. and Romania take second place, with 6.7% and 6.69% respectively. Germany comes in sixth, with a 4.3% infection rate.