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The Trojan porn dialler is back

 
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Those of us who can remember when Internet access meant slow dial-up modems connecting via pay per minute service providers will also be all too familiar with the concept of the porn dialler. For the youngsters out there, these took advantage of the fact that most punters had no idea what number the modem was actually calling. Indeed, as long as it made some screeching noises that resulted in an Internet connection they didn't really care much either, it was just assumed that the magic box was doing what it is was built for. But the bad guys exploited the lack of technical know how and protective consumer legislation alike by redirecting connections via expensive long distance premium rate numbers, with the victim only discovering the scam when they got stung by a huge telephone bill. The redirection was most often instigated by the installation of a Trojan, and in turn the most common vector for getting people to download and install these was the emerging online sex site business. If you want to view our uncensored gallery of explicit images then download the free viewer application, and at the same time quietly install a Trojan to redirect calls away from your chosen ISP, the scam went. Unsurprisingly, these became known by the generic term of porn diallers.

And now, according to CA Security Advisor research engineer Dinesh Venkatesan it looks like the porn dialler is back.

Hang on though, who uses dial-up modems these days? Actually, surprising numbers of folk have yet to join the broadband revolution not that it matters as the target this time around is the mobile phone user.

The CA malware analysis labs have been seeing a measurable increase in the numbers of Trojan Diallers that are targeting mobile devices, with Java 2 Micro Edition created malware being of particular concern. Users are fooled into loading an infected application onto their devices which then starts sending text messages to premium number destinations as per an installed data file containing a list of such numbers. The applications are, once again, most commonly associated with the sex business, in this case the adult message services sector. The messages that are sent out will instigate a subscription to the premium service and the unlucky user will very quickly get landed with very high mobile telephone bills as a result.

As always, the advice to anyone wading through the red light district of the Internet or the mobile porn services market is to tread very carefully indeed and certainly not to download and install anything unless you are 100% certain of its pedigree. Whatever, it certainly brings a whole new meaning to the sexting craze.

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Davey Winder

I'm a hacker turned writer and consultant, specialising in IT security. I've been a freelance word punk for over 20 years and along the way I have seen 23 of my books published, produced and presented programmes for TV and radio, picked up a bunch of awards and continue being a contributing editor with PC Pro - the best selling IT magazine in the UK .

 
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who uses dial-up modems these days?

I guess people are still reeling from the aol cd spam of the 90's

 
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thanx i didnt know they could do that but it would explain why my credit was going even though i was not using my phone is there a way of getting rid of it

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