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Fake Amazon gift cards are being sent to Android devices via text message, but it’s malware not a discount that is being spread among the recipients, reports The Register.
ESET detects this virus as the Android/Gazon.A worm, which is said to have infected more than 4,000 smartphones in North America. The virus has already sent out more than 200,000 unsolicited SMS messages containing links that, when clicked, install software on the device and send out identical messages to the user’s contacts.
The virus is attempting to lure users by promising a $200 Amazon gift card, but the link in the SMS message leads to a page of advertisements, or asks the victim to download games or take part in a survey. As PC World explains, the clickthrough presumably triggers a commission fee for the author of the worm.
The malware was first recognized on February 25, and has since generated more than 16,000 clickthroughs via SMS and other channels including email and Facebook. Infected devices have been found in more than 30 countries so far, reaching as far as Australia, the Philippines, Canada, France, India, Korea, Mexico and the UK.
The SMS attack highlights the importance of being extra careful around hyperlinks in emails and SMS messages, even if they are sent from companies or even friends you would usually trust.
Those affected by the virus are advised to uninstall the malware immediately using the standard Android uninstall facilities. In the meantime, Android-owners can take further steps to protect themselves by remembering our top 5 security tips for Android Lollipop:
Author Kyle Ellison, ESET