Android News

[Security Alert] Android trojan that records your calls

August 2, 2011 | by Tony Price

Android, Android News


It seems like only yesterday that they only time I had to worry about a trojan was when I went to questionable websites on my PC. Now, I hear about new threats to my security everyday on my Android device. Security researcher  Dinesh Venkatesan at CA Technologies discovered a particularly nasty piece of Android malware that is designed to record the victims phone calls. The recordings are saved to the victims SD card.

The process for accomplishing this is actually pretty simple. Once installed, the infected application inserts a configuration file onto the device that specifies “remote server and parameters.” Once this file is placed, it is automatically activated when the user makes an outgoing phone call.

Venkatesan tested the trojan twice, getting the same result both times. A new folder was created on the infected device, located at /shangzhou/callrecord. Inside this folder was .amr recordings of each “conversation” made on the device.

While this all seems very scary, it is easily avoided. In order to become infected with this trojan, you have to approve the installation of the app. This means that permissions like “record audio” and “intercept outgoing call” need to be approved as well. With words like that, i would never allow such an app to be installed on my device.

This trojan shows us that we really need to be diligent with our personal security. If you don’t do it already, you need to read the permissions of each and every app you install. If something doesn’t look right to you, question it. Write to the developer and ask why their game needs to access your SMS records. The most effective anti-virus is an informed user.

Edit: I feel like I should note that this is NOT on the official Android Market. You will only get infected with this trojan if you download from shady, secondary markets. So avoid those pirated apps, and you should be fine.