Vast Android botnet claims 1 million victims in China

Security researchers have uncovered a vast mobile botnet in China that has claimed over one million victims.

The Trojan-based attack has struck the Android platform having been hidden in more than 7,000 apps, including popular games such as Temple Run and Fishing Joy, reports Chinese news agency Xinhua,

Once installed, the attacker can remotely control the victim’s smartphone, enabling them to steal sensitive data, download additional apps and generate nuisance adware. The ‘Andorid.Troj.mdk’ Trojan was actually discovered back in 2011 by security firm Kingsoft Duba, who warned users about its proliferation.

But soaring data consumption in China and a lack of awareness over mobile security threats has seen the botnet break the one million victim barrier. As is common with hacking schemes on Android phones, unlicensed third-party app stores are likely to have played host to the Trojan before being downloaded by unsuspecting victims.

Users in China have been advised to monitor their call and data records for unusual activity that may point to an infection.

In November, security company F-Secure reported a huge malware rise on Android devices, matching the growth of the Google platform’s user-base. Kaspersky Lab conducted a study into which Android iteration was subject to the greatest security threat, and found that the now-outdated 2.3 Gingerbread version attracted the most attacks.