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Last Updated : Jul 04, 2018 12:26 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

50,000 devices infected by Android apps that were used as a tool for billing fraud: McAfee

A group of hackers by the name “AsiaHitGroup Gang” are being tracked by the cyber-security experts of McAfee, known to be active since 2016.

If McAfee's latest cyber-security report is to be believed, a whopping 50,000 devices have been infected by Android apps that are designed for performing billing frauds. New tools are being developed by hackers and online fraudsters, developers to steal money from unsuspecting users.

A group of hackers by the name “AsiaHitGroup Gang” are being tracked by the cyber-security experts of McAfee, known to be active since 2016.

In its report, McAfee claims that the team has returned with a repackaged version of one of its installer apps named “Sonvpay.C”. The app delivers fake update notifications and tricks consumers into subscribing to premium services. Cyber-security team estimates the hackers to have earned between $60,500 and $1,45,000 since restarting their scam in January of this year. The news was flashed in Andriod Headlines that Google has proactively removed most of the app detailed by McAfee in the first half of April.


The report says that people from Malaysia and Thailand contributed to the major amount of the hackers target. Unsuspecting victims of the app would think they’re only confirming an app update when presented with one of Sonvpay.C’s update dialogues, with the original version of the app attempting to scam at least 20,000 people out of their money.

The scam is based on Wireless Application Protocol billing (WAP billing) - a mechanism for consumers to buy content WAP sites that is charged directly to their mobile phone bill.

The scam was successful as in WAP billing no SMS messages have to be sent to premium-rate numbers. Instead, victims may only tap a malicious dialogue box on a specific website in order to unknowingly sign up for an expensive service that doesn’t do anything but take their money on a weekly or monthly basis.

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First Published on Jul 4, 2018 12:26 pm
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