Scammers hide malware in Windows Mobile apps

Hidden code in apps dials premium numbers

Honey, who are all these people you've been calling in Somalia?

Handsets running Windows Mobile are being targeted by fraudulent apps containing malicious code that causes the handsets to dial premium rate international numbers without the owner's consent.

The three reported offenders so far are "3D Anti-Terrorist game", "PDA Poker Art" and "Codec Pack for Windows Mobile 1.0". The apps are widely available online, and were apparently hijacked by scammers who copied the original harmless versions and then reuploaded them with the malicious code hidden inside.


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Once the virus starts operating it dials numbers in countries around the world without the handset owner noticing - all on their coin. Worse, as the apps don't rely on any kind of exploit of the WinMo operating system, Microsoft say that the problem is not something they can fix by simply patching a bit of code. As with PC users, Microsoft is saying that the best defence is apparently to just be careful of what one is installing and where it is being downloaded from, and to follow the safety guidelines on its website.