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January 24, 2022, 11:29 am

Malicious apps slyly steal Android-based mobile device users’ money via SMS

(10:52:56 AM 09/01/2014)
( - More and more Android-based smart phone and tablet users have complained that they have been attacked by a lot of malicious apps and games sourced from Vietnamese and foreign app stores.


Hai Yen in Dinh Cong residential quarter in Hanoi, said she installed an app allowing to read stories free of charge “Sieu quay Teppi” for her son, a third grader. After finishing the installation, she received a message from 87XX switchboard informing about the successful activation. Several minutes later, she discovered that VND15,000 was deducted from her account.


Nguyen Dong, a worker of a printing workshop in Hanoi, said one day he decided to install “Sexy Clip” app from app store in his Acer smart phone. Right after the installation finished, Dong checked his account and discovered that he lost VND15,000, though he was not warned about the service fee.


According to Buu Dien newspaper, there are a lot of the victims like Dong, who want to try the “18+” “black apps.”


On, a well-known forum for hi-tech fans, a victim wrote that he only discovered the loss of money after receiving a message saying that the total money left in his account was not enough to activate the service.


Le Van Giap, Managing Director of, an app store, confirmed that a lot of apps and games of foreign and Vietnamese programmers, associated with malicious codes have appeared in the last two years.


Also according to Giap, together with the establishment of a lot of app stores, foreign and Vietnamese, such as Google Play, Mobogenie, Mobile Market, SlideME, Getjar, AndroidPIT App Center, Amazon Appstore, the number of malicious apps and games for Android-based mobile devices has been increasing rapidly.


Meanwhile, there is no system to verify the “clean” apps at app stores.


According to Sebastian Osmolski, Country Director of Amphonet, the distributor of Bitdefender in Vietnam, 60 percent of smart phones in Vietnam are running on Android, while the number of malicious codes attacking Android-based mobile device users has been increasing day after day.


Dr..Web, the Russian security firm, has recently announced that it discovered the malicious apps for online music listening on Zing MP3, created by Vietnamese.


Analysts said in general, malicious apps try to stir the users’ curiosity by showing the images of sexy girls or promising nasty videos.


In many other cases, the malicious apps “borrow” the names of the prestigious service providers to cheat users.


Vuong Quang Khai, Deputy General Director of VNG, complained that its Zalo, an OTT app, was once counterfeited and installed with malware to cheat users.


Le Van Giap from ViMarket, the enterprise which is pursuing the plan on building up a clean app store for Android-based mobile device users, admitted that it is very difficult to recognize malicious apps. He said the experts themselves can only find out if an app is a malware after some tests.


However, he believes that Android users can protect themselves instead of relying on experts.


First of all, they should only use the apps from the prestigious and well known app stores to minimize risks. They should also learn about the apps and consult with others about the apps before deciding to use the apps.

Buu Dien

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