Menu
Android users spammed with fake Amazon gift card offers

Android users spammed with fake Amazon gift card offers

Text messages promising free gift cards deliver only spam instead

The Gazon SMS scam promises a free Amazon gift card but delivers only spam

The Gazon SMS scam promises a free Amazon gift card but delivers only spam

New malware spreading across Android devices via text messages promises free Amazon gift cards but delivers only spam to everyone on the device's contact list.

The "Gazon" threat, as it is called by IT security firm AdaptiveMobile, has already infected more than 4,000 Android phones in North America, making it the single largest text-based mobile malware attack against Android to date, according to the company. Gazon has also been seen on devices outside North America.

Gazon has thus far spewed out more than 200,000 unsolicited SMS messages, luring some to click on a link promising free Amazon gift cards, an action that causes more messages to be sent out.

None of the major antivirus vendors have detected the malware yet, according to AdaptiveMobile, which discovered the Android virus February 25.

Gazon is a worm, meaning that it propagates itself across multiple devices.

The malware invades phones if users click on an Internet address included with the unwanted text message, which promises $200 in Amazon gift cards. If the link is clicked, software is installed on the device that then sends an identical message to all of the affected user's contacts.

The link doesn't lead to an Amazon gift card, but rather to a page of advertisements that presumably triggers a commission fee for the author of the worm.

Users can remove the malware by using the standard uninstall utility in Android.

Using SMS messages seems to be an increasingly common tactic for propagating Android malware, which until recently was quite rare.

Last May, the Trojan Horse virus Koler used SMS to lure users into downloading software that locked devices which could only be unlocked if the user paid a ransom. The Selmite worm, discovered in June, spread spammy messages to market synchronization software.

The Samsapo worm, also found in May, used text messages to trick users into downloading malicious software.

AdaptiveMobile has tracked the worm back to a single Facebook account that was previously linked to a similar messaging attack in January involving the WhatsApp messaging service.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwareAdaptiveMobile

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments