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Trojan using SMS messages to relay information, says McAfee

A backdoor trojan is using short message service (SMS) text messages to relay stolen information back to malicious users, according to one anti-virus vendor's research wing.

Similar malware usually employs email to relay the stolen information, according to researchers at McAfee Avert Labs.

McAfee said last week that the malware is a variant of the W32/backdoor-DJC trojan.

Jimmy Shah said on the McAfee Avert Labs blog that malicious hackers are concentrating on recently accepted ways of transmitting information.

"System administrators have been able to monitor their machines via SMS for quite a while. This is more of an example of malware authors turning legitimate methods and tools to their purposes," he said. "Once a tool or communication method has been proven effective legitimately, it is common for us to see them integrated into malware. So it's no surprise that SMS has now reached this stage."

Among the advantages of SMS over Bluetooth for sending stolen information are that messages are stored in an inbox and can be delivered to a different country without use of service areas.

This isn't the first time malicious users have used SMS to their advantage.

Avert Labs researchers warned users in August of "SMiShing," a technique where malicious users send SMS phishing messages to victims to lure them to malicious websites.

Unknowing users, fearful of running up hefty phone bills, could be scared into visiting malicious sites, according to Avert researchers.

Click here to email Frank Washkuch Jr.

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