Android users throughout North American are being text message spammed with a link promising a free $200 Amazon credit card. Clicking on the link would be a big mistake because it will download malware that accesses your contact list to further spread this malware.
The malware has been dubbed Gazon. It is considered a “worm” virus, a standalone program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Security researches believe it may be the most widely spread malware of its kind. While there are more malicious malware, this one has a very high nuisance factor. If nothing else, it is advertising to all your contacts that your phone has been compromised.
But there is more. The user is also presented with survey questions to answer in order to get their Amazon reward. Somehow, the user never gets to the point where they actually receive their reward. However, they are doing a lot of clicking, which is presumably the point of the exercise. The attacker is likely earning revenue from advertising campaigns by generating clicks.
This type of malicious spamming has been in use for many years using email, but is becoming increasingly common with text messages and mobile devices. Whether it is a text message, email or web page you must be very wary of clicking on links if you are not absolutely certain of the source. Scammers are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in ill-gotten gains from Internet users who make just that simple mistake.
If you have not done so, you should install Comodo Mobile Security for Android. It’s free and provided both malware and antitheft that is outstanding. AV Test Labs has recently given it a 5.5/6 rating for Protection and a 6/6 rating for usability. Just one more way that Comodo watches your back.