Spyware disguised as tip calculator app

According to NetQin Inc, a mobile security service provider, a recent spyware program disguised as a tip calculator made it to the Android Market. Once the “tip calculator” was installed, the spyware will send all incoming and outgoing SMS on the system to designated email address on an hourly basis. Another version of the spyware can even eavesdrop on your calls.

As a result of this, NetQin has launched a mobile anti-virus program entitled (cleverly enough) NetQin Mobile Anti-virus. NetQin Mobile Anti-virus is available for Android 1.5 and above devices.

Click HERE to download the apk

Keep reading to read the full press release

BEIJING, July 14 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — A recent Spyware program running on Android devices results in privacy leakage, warns NetQin Mobile Inc., a leading mobile security service provider. The spyware is disguised as a Tip Calculator. Once the spyware is installed in the target mobile devices, the spyware will send all incoming and outgoing SMS on the system to the designated email address on an hourly basis, resulting in privacy leakage. A variant of the spyware can even overhear the calls of the monitored devices. NetQin has launched NetQin Mobile Anti-virus for Android to protect Android device users from viruses, spyware and malware. The application is available for download at http://www.netqin.com/en/antivirus/download/ .

The person who is trying to spy on the phone will install the application on someone else’s phone. Holding down the Carrot App icon in the “About” page will lead the user to the spy settings.

After entering the default password “spy”, the user will then be taken to the spy status settings where they can enter an email address for the spy function. After this is set, the phone will send an email to the entered email address every hour with all the incoming and outgoing texts from the phone.

Sales of Android phones have outsold the iPhone in the first part of 2010, and it makes complete sense that attackers would use this opportunity. With the boom of Android applications, it is likely that other similar programs are being released. To stay protected from such spyware, be sure to install NetQin Mobile Anti-virus software and be cautious when installing an unknown application.

About NetQin

Founded in Beijing in 2005 and backed by leading venture capital firms like Sequoia, Mayfield and Fidelity, NetQin delivers complete mobile security solutions based on “Cloud” security platform, including anti-virus, anti-spam, privacy protection and online virus scan service, to over 5,150 million users worldwide. As a leading player in mobile security, NetQin holds 68% market share in China, and has received several industry awards, including the 2009 China Frost & Sullivan Award for Mobile Security Market Leadership.

Extensive partnership has accelerated the growth of NetQin. The company is the only partner providing anti-spamming service to China Mobile, and is a close partner of China Unicom. As an important partner to Nokia, NetQin products are preloaded on all S60 devices sold in China. NetQin works closely with Huawei mobile software, and has also been recognized as a platinum partner of the Symbian Foundation.

  • Shouldn’t the title be ‘Spyware Disguised as Tip Calculator App’, rather than the other way around like you have it?

  • Scott Young

    i don’t know what you’re talking about… :ph34r:

  • So this press release mentions a tip calculator that spies on users, doesn’t specify WHICH one it is, and then CONVENIENTLY this company has an antivirus app available just now?

    Seems like a clever scare tactic to get people to download an antivirus app that may or may not work. After all, noone is going to go through all those tip calculators to verify whether this is true or not.

  • Xanman

    Damn. I tried to download spyware, but it was just a disguise for a horrible tip calculator app.

    Your title is incorrect.

  • polo79

    Anyone who can’t figure out a tip DESERVES a virus. Haha!

  • sonic

    This just goes to show google are not monitoring the market correctly.

  • Johan

    @sonic: what does this have to do with the market? This is about a spyware that installs a hostile app by getting his hands on the target’s phone. If I get my hands on your phone I can install apps on it without using the android market. I’ll just push the .apk to your phone over usb.

    To protect against malware on the market just don’t install apps that asks for permissions to read sms, send sms, make calls, read contacts or do other sensitive stuff. Common sense you know.

  • Johan

    Gah, why didn’t I proof read. :) I ment that this is about spyware that is installed by someone by getting his hands on the target’s phone. Google monitoring the market would make no difference in this scenario.

  • Good thing that NetQin released an antivirus to detect this malicious software. I can now relax that my phone will not be infected.

  • You will be certainly a man who can love the awesome. Carry on!