Online criminals have reworked a particularly nasty Android Trojan to make it even more dangerous and destructive to the millions of users of Google's mobile platform.
Called Androidos_Dordrae.N, the Trojan is a variant of DroidDreamLight, a Trojan that, beginning in late May, wormed its way into 24 different legitimate Android apps and, when downloaded, harvested the sensitive phone data of between 30,000 and 120,000 victims.
(DroidDreamLight is itself a variant of DroidDream, which in early March was found hiding in more than 50 Android apps.)
While both DroidDream and DroidDreamLight are capable of stealing Android users' phone data and downloading malicious code to infected phones, criminals have rigged Androidos_Dordrae to go a step further.
The code of the new variant has been modified to steal Android users' ingoing and outgoing text messages, call logs, mobile contacts list and information related to Google accounts stored on the device, the security firm Trend Micro said.
"Also, based on its code, this malware has the ability to insert messages in the inbox of the infected device, with the sender and message body specified by the attacker, as well as the ability to send messages to numbers in users' contact list," Trend Micro wrote.
Currently, Androidos_Dordrae is spreading through third-party mobile app stores primarily in China. Like similar Trojans such as Androidos_Nickispy, which hides in legitimate Google+ apps, it's possible the new DroidDreamLight variant could easily spread to the U.S. Android app market.
Thankfully, smartphones are so prevalent now that anti-virus makers have been forced to adapt and create anti-virus solutions for the hundreds of millions of users that could be affected by mobile threats. Several mobile security software companies, including AVG, Symantec, Lookout and Kaspersky Lab, have smartphone anti-virus software on the market.