Snapchat Spam Promoting Android Malware (PR)

Snapchat has been exploited by cybercriminals to promote a scam website distributing Android malware and premium SMS subscriptions. Victims of this spam campaign may find a recurrent charge on their mobile phone bill.
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* Snapchat
* Android Malware

* Security
* Technology

* Phoenix - Arizona - US

* Reports

PHOENIX - June 2, 2014 - PRLog -- In late May Armor for Android uncovered Snapchat spam promoting a website called which has been observed distributing Android malware. peddles expensive premium SMS subscription services and distributes MinimobSMS malware that is also capable of incurring expensive text messaging charges on victims’ phone bills. This isn’t the first time we have seen Snapchat spam, but it is the first time we have Snapchat spam used in connection with Android malware.

Users who received a Snapchat spam message were lead to believe that they had been selected for the Google Glass Explorer Program and would receive a free pair of Google Glasses. To claim their prize all “winners” needed to do was register at The reality of is much more sinister. To hide it’s true intentions redirects all non-mobile traffic to the real Google Glass webpage, however, mobile visitors land on a two step webpage that eventually requires them to complete a final “sponsor offer” to unlock the free Google Glasses.

The final offer from varied depending on the network operator and origin country of the mobile device. Europe, Asia, and South America ware targeted with malicious premium SMS subscription or Android malware campaigns. Premium SMS services have long been the prodigal child of cybercriminals as they can be expensive and often recurrent income until the victim cancels the subscription. was observed promoting premium SMS subscriptions that cost as much as $37.45 per week, no small change.

Users attempting to complete the “sponsor offer” in select locations are redirected to one of two websites distributing Android malware. One of the malicious websites automatically begins downloading an app called MoboGenie which is considered a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) which has numerous privacy and security concerns. The second form of malware is known as MinimobSMS and is capable of subscribing the user to premium SMS services that can charge up to $40.50USD per month, the exact amount charged by these premium SMS subscriptions also varies depending on the device’s location.

Security researcher James Green considered the development of Snapchat spam promoting Android malware and said “It’s interesting to see the development of spam on messaging services exclusive to the mobile platform. In the past 2 years we have really started to see a development in mobile cybercrime that strongly resembles PC cybercrime.”

Armor for Android suggests that users adjust their Snapchat privacy settings to prevent this type of Snapchat spam. Snapchat users should restrict their accounts so that only friends can send them Snapchat messages.

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Tags:Snapchat, Android Malware
Industry:Security, Technology
Location:Phoenix - Arizona - United States
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