Beware This Android Malware That Erases Your Phone With a Single Text

By Bryan Lufkin on at

It’s been a bad week for people’s phones, and it’s not getting any better: A Danish security firm’s found malware that ravages your Android phone with a single text — erasing data or sending rogue calls and texts in the process.

Denmark-based security firm Heimdal detected the malware, called “Mazar”, which sends text messages that include an ostensibly harmless multimedia message link to users. Click through, and it downloads Tor to your phone, and then the actual malware, whose source the Tor software hides. (By the way, a little reminder for living in the 21st century, friends: Don’t click on text message links from random senders.)

Heimdal thinks that over 100,000 phones have received the Mazar text in Denmark, the BBC reports, and the firm isn’t yet sure if it’s spread to other countries.

We’ve heard of such one-text menaces targeting Android before. Last year, a University of Cambridge study found that 85 per cent of Android devices could face at least one crucial security vulnerability. This report is just the latest confidence crusher threatening the operating system’s security.

Weirdly, the new malware can’t infiltrate devices using Russian as their default language. Setting your phone to a foreign language seems like an extreme measure when common sense should keep you safe. [BBC]