Mobile Apps Could Contain Malware

Scammers are distributing apps for Windows Mobile-based smartphones that have malware hidden inside that makes calls to premium-rate numbers across the globe, racking up expensive bills unbeknownst to the phone's owner, a mobile security firm said on Friday.

The apps — 3D Anti-Terrorist game, PDA Poker Art and codec pack for Windows Mobile 1.0 — are being distributed on as many as nine popular download websites, including DoDownload, GearDownload and Software112, according to John Hering, chief executive and founder of mobile security provider Lookout.

Someone has copied the programs and repackaged them with the malware inside, he said. Once the app is installed the virus wakes up and starts dialing premium-rate numbers like in Somalia and the South Pole, Hering said. He added that victims may not know about the problem until they get their phone bill and see that it is $50 (£35) or $100 higher than it should be.

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