Alexa Malicious trojan "GriftHorse" steals Millions from over 10 Million Users
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Malicious trojan "GriftHorse" steals Millions from over 10 Million Users


Cyber Security

Malicious trojan "GriftHorse" steals Millions from over 10 Million Users

GriftHorse does not exploit the Android OS but instead uses social engineering to lure users into entering their phone numbers to subscribe to premium SMS services upon downloading the apps.

A newly discovered malicious trojan called "GriftHorse" has infected more than 10 Million users from over 70 countries through several Android apps. The Trojan unknowingly subscribes the individuals to premium services costing $42 per month. Zimperium zLabs has dubbed the malicious trojan "GriftHorse." The fraud Trojan app has been active since November 2020 and has been active across countries like the US, Australia, France, Germany, India, Russia, UK, and many others.

"While typical premium service scams take advantage of phishing techniques, this specific global scam has hidden behind malicious Android applications acting as Trojans, allowing it to take advantage of user interactions for increased spread and infection," Zimperium researchers Aazim Yaswant and Nipun Gupta said in a report shared with The Hacker News.

These malicious Android applications seem to be normal when viewed on Play Store, but once it gets installed in the device, they subscribe the users with premium services without any user consent. GriftHorse does not exploit the Android OS but instead uses social engineering to lure users into entering their phone numbers to subscribe to premium SMS services upon downloading the apps.

After successful infection, the users are overwhelmed with false "Free Gift" alerts that redirect them to fraud webpages where they have to submit phone numbers for receiving bogus "Free Gift." But as per the researchers, in reality, they are submitting their phone number to a premium SMS service that starts charging their phone bill over $42 per month.  


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