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Warning: New virus targets smartphones

Warning: New virus targets smartphones
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The newest method for hackers to get malware onto your Android device comes in the form of a text message from a friend, family member or acquaintance. That's because the Andr/Slfmite-B malware wants to exploit the people you trust to steal your money.

I covered the first version of this dangerous virus, Andr/Slfmite-A, in June. After a victim installed the malware onto their phone, it automatically texted their top 20 contacts about how much they "loved" a third party app store.

In reality, the app in the text message was a method for hackers to get the virus onto more phones.

So what's different about this version? At first glance, I'm thinking that hackers built this virus to play the long game. If you installed the original version of the malware, all it would do is spread itself and download an annoying third party app store.

The latest version tries to get you to spend $20 monthly on wallpapers. Really.

Instead of texting 20 of your contacts like the last-gen malware, Andr/Slfmite-B only texts 5 of your contacts. After you've downloaded the virus, it quickly masks its app icon as Google Plus.

There's the upside to this malware threat, and it's that hackers aren't very persuasive. The text that you'd potentially receive from an infected phone, according to the virus's code, would either be "Hey, try it, it's very fine" or "Hi buddy, try this, it's amazing u know."

I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever had anyone call me buddy and recommend an app in the same sentence. Let alone through a text message.

The other scary thing about Andr/Slfmite-B is that the text message might change in the future. You see, this version has the ability to receive orders from hackers. This means that it can download more malware, send new text messages and a wide variety of scary stuff.

Want to learn how to stay safe? These tips might send you in the right direction:

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