The hacking attack targeting Android devices that started earlier this spring continues to infect devices worldwide.

It’s being described as “ingenious”.  It is literally spreading on its own. The damages are widespread and growing. Computer security firm Praedo began publicly raising the alarm over the attack about three weeks ago. This attack is specifically aimed at devices using the Google Android operating system. The numbers could be staggering. A lot depends on how well you listen to the experts about following sketchy fishing attacks that show up on your devices. About 70% of mobile devices worldwide use one version or another of the Android OS.

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The latest widespread hack starts off with a text message arriving at your Android device.  The most common version being used tells you there is a customs fee that must be paid in order for a package to be delivered to you. If you fall for it and hit the link, the scam opens up a new link telling you to update your Chrome app. Hit that one and it’s pretty much all over. Your device is connected to a malicious website that automatically begins downloading malicious malware to your device. You can’t stop it once it is underway save for powering off your device. Once that malware is installed, you get connected to the “Customs” payment page where you need to agree to cover a small fee, of $1 or $2 dollars in order to clear your package for delivery. But what just happened is you sent your card data to the scam system.

Then it gets better, at least for the scammers. They use your device and credentials to automatically send out potentially thousands of text messages a day. The system is set up to use sequential phone numbers, not necessarily your contacts.  The whole thing is hidden and made to look like legitimate Google code on your phone. But experts can identify it since the package, version, and signature, don’t match the official Android code.  But it’s already too late even if it’s discovered.

We probably don’t need to tell you what can happen if criminals get hold of your credit card data.

Be careful.

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