Over a million mobile phones in China have been hit by a virus that steals contact information to commit click fraud and propagate the virus.
The virus manipulates a security application to transmit the victim's SIM card details to a central server controlled by a group of hackers, who then send virus-ridden links to games and software, according to CNN.
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Anyone clicking on the link will infect their mobile phones and at the same time the proved a click through for the link, which is translated into a payment for a party publicising the links.
Chinese mobile service providers have taken steps to reduce the number of infected messages, but telecoms experts have raised the concern that an updated virus might start sending messages at lower volumes and go unnoticed.
The company that produces the targeted security application said it had nothing to do with the virus, but warned it was difficult for users to tell which applications are infected and which are safe.
Mobile threats will change the data security game, Robert Lenz, a former security officer at the Pentagon told the Cyber Security 2010 Summit in London yesterday.
"Mobile devices are set to become a significant area of concern," he said.
Lenz, president and chief executive of consultancy Cyber Security Strategies, said in the face of advanced threats, organisations need to focus on resiliency of their networks and securing end point devices, such as smartphones.