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NQ Mobile(TM) Threat Alert: "Bill Shocker" Mobile Malware Takes Remote Control Of More Than 600,000 Users' Phones To Send Costly Messages

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.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130130/CN50831 )(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121224/CN34262LOGO )

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[1], 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.

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