BEIJING and DALLAS, Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A recently discovered malware is potentially one of the most costly viruses yet discovered, warns NQ Mobile (NYSE : NQ ), the leading global provider of mobile Internet services. Newly discovered by NQ Mobile's Security Research Center using the company's proprietary RiskRanker™ cloud scanning engine, the "Bill Shocker" (a.expense.Extension.a) virus has already impacted 620,000 users in China and poses a threat to unprotected Android devices worldwide.
How the Infection Spreads
Based on the findings of RiskRanker, a unique analysis system that automatically detects whether a particular app exhibits dangerous behavior, the Bill Shocker is an SDK designed by malware developers that infects several of the most popular apps in China, including Tencent QQ Messenger and Sohu News. The infected versions of these apps are further distributed by third-party online app stores and retail installation channels.
What the Infection Does
Bill Shocker downloads in the background, without arousing the mobile device owner's suspicion. The infection can then take remote control of the device, including the contact list, Internet connections and dialing and texting functions. Once the malware has turned the phone into a "zombie," the infection uses the device to send text message to the profit of advertisers. In many cases, the threat will overrun the user's bundling quota, which subjects the user to additional charges.
RiskRanker, which identifies potentially dangerous apps before they have the opportunity to impact users' phone bills, has determined that Bill Shocker is capable of upgrading itself and of automatically expanding to other apps, multiplying the potentially disastrous effects.
How NQ Mobile is Mitigating the Threat
Because Bill Shocker can be used to send costly messages remotely, NQ Mobile believes it poses a serious threat to Android users. The inoculation has been posted to NQ Mobile's cloud-based security offering, ensuring the company's customers are safe from the threat. With a 63 percent market share in China, the majority of the most at-risk mobile devices have been inoculated automatically. NQ Mobile has also alerted Chinese mobile carriers of the threat to prevent its further spread.
As a public service, NQ Mobile has posted an anti-malware app to help protect all Android users. It can be found at http://anquan.nq.com/download/ThiefKiller_SubCoopID_0.apk.
To prevent the spread of these kinds of threats, NQ has provided its RiskRanker cloud scanning engine to China's top mobile carriers including, China Mobile and China Unicom. RiskRanker has also been provided to Baidu to enhance the security scanning capability of Baidu Mobile Services.
NQ Mobile technology enables curbing the spread of malware such as Bill Shocker and variants across borders and oceans. However, this is an important reminder that these threats are very real and can have devastating effects. With its proprietary threat detection system that includes the collective intelligence provided by users in more than 150 countries, NQ Mobile finds most threats before anyone else.
Tips to Avoid Infection
To avoid becoming a victim, please follow common-sense guidelines for smartphone security:
1) Only download applications from trusted sources, reputable application stores, and markets, and be sure to check reviews, ratings and developer information before downloading.
2) Never accept application requests from unknown sources. Closely monitor permissions requested by any application; an application should not request permission to do more than what it offers in its official list of features.
3) Be alert for unusual behavior on the part of mobile phones and be sure to download a trusted security application that can scan the applications being downloaded onto your mobile device. NQ Mobile Security users are already fully protected from the Bill Shocker threat.
NQ Mobile Security™ for Android is available for download at http://www.nq.com/mobilesecurity and on Android Market.
 SINO Market Research Co. Ltd, Q3, 2012
About NQ Mobile
NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE : NQ) is a leading global provider of trusted mobile Internet services built on its world-class acquisition, engagement and monetization platform. The company was one of the first to recognize the growing security threats targeting smartphone users and now has about 242 million registered and 85 million active user accounts globally. NQ Mobile's cloud-based trust platform has been recognized by third-party testing facilities around the world as the most effective solution for detecting and combating mobile threats. NQ Mobile is recognized as a global pioneer in mobile innovation and technology leadership. NQ Mobile maintains dual headquarters in Dallas, TX, USA and Beijing, China. For more information on NQ Mobile, please visit http://www.nq.com.
SOURCE NQ Mobile Inc.