Cell phone Virus racking up huge bills

Posted: January 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Do you remember back in the early days of the internet, when dial-up connections were all we had? There were stories of people that were allegedly searching for some fantastic porn – the kind that didn’t take 3 minutes per image to load – but when these poor victims found some programs that enabled them to get some high quality images, they also were gifted with an astronomical phone bill in the following month.

When these folks installed the software that was supposed to enable them to view the pics, they unwittingly were installing a program that would mute their modem so it wouldn’t be heard dialing and connecting, and then place a call to an international location with massive pay-per-minute rates. Some of these folks were spending hours on these connections, and in many cases wouldn’t find out until a month had passed.

With the advent of high speed connections. this practice faded away as computers switched from built-in modems to onboard ethernet cards. Without having the phone line to place the call, the scammers had to move on to other revenue opportunities.

But now, with the ubiquity of smartphones, this practice isstarting to rear its ugly head again. So now, while folks aresurfing the web in search of pics of Naughty Ninety year olds, they are installing java based programs that are placing calls for them – calls that are adding up to some massive charges. And just imagine how fun that conversation is going to be with your cell provider.

Courtesy of the folks at F-Secure, here are a few things that you can do to prevent becoming a victim:

If you get an SMS message asking for you to call unknown number, either ignore the message, or if you are interested use the operators directory service to find out to whom that extension belongs. But do not call the number directly.

If you get email warning about such scam, please ignore the email and do not pass it on. If you want verification about the warning, please contact your local telecom operator.

read their full report here.

If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, and you have to look at something “interesting” on the internet, it might be worth a few minutes of your time to go and check to see if there is an antivirus program available for your phone. It might just save you a lot of money!


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