Android Targeted by Malware Ring

SAN FRANCISCO — Android’s mobile operating system has become a target for the international cybercrime ring known as ZeuS or ZBOT.

The cybercrime ring has created a variant of its bank information-stealing malware and when downloaded, either through a fake survey or the Android Market, the malware disguises itself as a piece of banking security software from Trusteer, called Rapport, PCMag reports.

Once installed, an icon for “Trusteer Rapport” appears on the user’s homescreen. The Trojan then embeds itself into Android devices and listens in on all incoming text messages and forwards them to a remote server.

The malware picks up passwords sent through SMS by banks to verify account logins and uses passwords to break into bank accounts.

In the past, the crime ring has created the Trojan for Symbian, Windows Mobile and Blackberry operating systems.

Kaspersky labs said the Android version is far more primitive than the mobile ones, which can send SMS’ from specific phone numbers.

The malware has been removed from the Android Market, Kaspersky said.