If you use the mobile internet billing system for your online purchases, cybercriminals might be on the lookout to spread malicious software and subscribe you to paid services without your knowledge. Mobile internet billing or WAP billing is being increasingly used by cybercriminals to dupe mobile users of money, according to the latest research. Also Read - Android OS update: Know which brand offers how many updates for which phones
Mobile internet billing or WAP billing is used to buy content on websites, app stores, etc which charge directly on mobile phone bill. However, unlike traditional methods of credit or debit cards, the mobile internet billing system does not require users to register for a service, IB Times notes. Also Read - This Qualcomm chip bug affects around 30 percent of phones globally: Report
Kaspersky Lab researcher John Snow says that the amenities of WAP billing have been actively abused by hackers to spread Trojan malware. The old method of billing has become a favorite among malicious hackers. According to a recent report by the security firm, these Trojans began to show up more frequently than usual in the second quarter of 2017. ALSO READ: India, Pakistan targets of state-sponsored cyber attack: Symantec
As Snow explains, cybercriminals have started adding to their malware the ability to open Web pages that have WAP billing and click buttons that initiate payments while the user suspects nothing. This vulnerability particularly impacts Android users.
Kaspersky Lab has identified the Ubsod family as one of the most notable Trojans taking advantage of mobile internet billing. One strain detected as Trojan-Clicker-AndroidOS.
You can avoid getting victimized at the hands of malicious hackers by taking a few precautions. First, you should never install apps from unknown sources. Always stick to the official app stores and listings to install apps. In addition to that, you should also change your security settings to prevent automatic permission to install such apps. Lastly, you should periodically check all active services on your mobile number, including WAP subscriptions. If there is unwanted activity, disable it immediately.