Red alert! An SMS trojan has been detected running rampant on Android devices, says security watchdog Kapersky. The virus comes disguised as a media player in the package MS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a and, once installed, will send out texts to expensive premium numbers, racking up a high phone bill and gains for scammers. While previous reports saw isolated viruses and spyware, this is the first instance of a wide-spread trojan spread about the Android ecosystem.
As a protective measure, the Android Market always asks for certain permissions before installing an application. Pay close attention to any apps that may request access to your phones messaging system, especially if they come from untested sources. A specific perpetrator was not named, though chances are the spyware is coming from multiple fronts, with some applications carrying it remaining unidentified even at this point.
This marks one more area where Google could greatly improve the Android Market. Sure, there are benefits to a completely open for submission market, but when it comes to software with malicious intent slipping out onto unsuspecting phones we are left wanting even the most basic of screening processes.