Alleged SMS Trojan makers indicted in France

Two men recently arrested in France stand accused of having developed a mobile Trojan app that stole money from Android users, reports L’Informaticien (via Google Translate).

The two – one of whom was allegedly the “brain” behind the operation and the other a tehnician – have been indicted on Friday in Bobigny, a small town in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, after a two-month-long investigation by the central office for combating crime linked with the use of information and communication technologies (Office Central de Lutte contre la Criminalité liée aux Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication – OCLCTIC), an agency within the French National Police.

The Trojan in question, dubbed Foncy by Kaspersky Lab experts, is an SMS Trojan that targeted users from a number of European Countries and Canada, and once installed, it would send four SMS messages to premium rate numbers, charging the victims’ account 4.5 euros per message.

Once the Trojan received a reply from the premium rate number, he would hide the message from the user and send an SMS to a French cell phone number with the text taken from the reply – probably to allow the criminals to keep track of how many messages were sent altogether and to be able to claim money from those who rented their service.

It is estimated that over 2,000 Android users were affected by the Trojan since it first appeared last year.

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