The Symantec Security Response Team is a group of hard-working, dedicated security professionals who report on the latest cybercriminal and malware threats impacting everyone from consumers to the largest corporations. Anyone can read their blog and stay up-to-date on the latest threats, though sometimes the technical details get a little hairy, even for someone like me.
I have to say, one of the latest entries on the blog is extremely easy to understand. A group of bad guys have figured out if they can trick people into downloading what they think is a free version of a popular game, they can rip them off in the background by using premium text services. The user might notice the game download didn’t work, but it could be quite a while for them to realize their phone just sent a text that will cost them plenty.
Make sure everyone in your family, in your office, in your social network realizes the benefit of sticking to the trusted app store for your devices where games are not only tested before being published but you can read reviews to make sure you don’t download a dud. And get into the habit of regularly checking your mobile phone’s online bill to contest any premium services you didn’t actually request. If you wait more than one billing cycle you may find you still are liable for some of the fees.
- There are fake websites pretending to offer free versions of popular mobile games.
- If you click to download the file, you won’t get the game. Instead, you’ll download malware and possibly some fake screenshots of the game.
- Recent versions of this scam allowed expensive text messages to be sent by the infected device.
Three Tips for Staying Safe:
- Stick to the official app store for your device’s platform for all your gaming and other app needs
- Be prepared to pay for a highly desired app. Saving money by searching the web may end up costing you plenty.
- Consider protecting the sensitive data and private information on your mobile device by using a combination of device passwords and security programs like Norton Mobile Security.