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September 10, 2012

Lookout reports rise in cash stealing through mobile phone fraud

Report includes information collected from 2 million clients

By CBR Staff Writer

Malwares aimed at stealing cash from the mobile phones have increased to 62% during nine months when compared to the earlier 29%, according to a new report from Lookout.

The report from mobile security firm, which collected data from its 20 million customers along with statistics from industry analysts, reveals that the number has risen with phone fraudsters industrialising their scams.

According the report, the viruses were affecting the phones through booby-trapped applications and via advertisements and web pages porting malware.

Lookout head of technology Kevin Mahaffey was quoted by BBC as saying that phone fraudsters were increasingly using viruses that secretely added charges to a user’s bill to cash in.

"Once they find a repeatable, scalable way to make money they try to get as big as possible," Mahaffey said.

During the period, the firm has also examined that that scammers discontinue experimenting with various cash stealing techniques and shift towards their well known extensive operations on networks.

The report also revealed that 30-40% of phones of its customers who opted security service in Russia were already infected by malware, while China and India were also affected by the malware.

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Analysis by the firm also proposed that the malwares were being incorporated in crimeware kits, and were sold to fraudsters with less technical knowledge.

The phones which are to be infected would be inserted with a virus known as ‘NotCompatible’, which converts the phone into an alternative and assists in performing frauds.

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