New version of the SMS.Python.Flocker malware tricks users into transferring money from one account to another
Folks over at Kaspersky Labs have detected a new version of the SMS.Python.Flocker malware that tricks users into transferring money from one account to another.
The current version of the malware targets users belonging to an Indonesian mobile operator. What the program does is to send an automated text message authorizing the transfer of credits from one account to another. Of course, the "another" account belongs to the fraudsters. The program transfers amounts to the tune of $0.45 to $0.90 per text message. The earlier versions of this program traced its origins back to Russia. After a lull of some years, fraudsters in Indonesia seem to have fancied their chances by developing this new "customized for Indonesia" version of the software.
Like other Symbian viruses, even this one needs to be manually installed to go about its job of wrecking havoc. To trick users into installing it, the authors of the program have intelligently masked the program to look like a genuine application. Additionally, another important facet of the application is that it requires Python to be installed on the device for it to function - thus minimizing the chances of an infection.
This, however, does not take away from the fact that Symbian-based malware seems to be making a comeback of sorts. Kaspersky has not confirmed whether the latest version affects Symbian Series 60 Third Edition handsets. All the earlier versions of SMS.Python.Flocker affected the older generation of S60 phones.
The precautionary measures against Symbian viruses remain the same. Do not install any unknown installation file received randomly or via Bluetooth. It will not affect your phone unless you install it. Those in doubt can install Kaspersky Mobile Security, which has the ability to prevent an installation file from running on the mobile.
Users in India need not worry because even if your phone is affected you will not incur any financial loss as the virus is targeted at customers of an Indonesian mobile operator.