20 year old French hacker is arrested after stealing 500k euros and infecting 17k smartphones

A 20-year-old hacker has been recently arrested in Amiens, France after allegedly stealing 500k euros from unwitting victims.

The hack worked by downloading and modifying android applications with a trojan which would call premium rate numbers in exchange for SMS codes  for playing online lotteries.

Central Office for the Fight against Crime Linked to Information Technology and Communication (OCLCTIC) tracked the creator of this network of trojans and uncovered the hacker. He stated that he did not do it for the money but “a love of computers and an ambition to be a software developer.”. According to the official report the users were charged around 130 euros for 30 SMS messages and many users did not notice this cost on their bill.

This outlines the issues with applications that can access any features of the phone and use them silently. Apple iOS devices have more protection to these type of hacks due to the limits that Apple put  on the phones and the necessary scrutiny that they put upon all applications. Furthermore since the only way to get apps without jail-breaking the iPhone is through the apple store it stops the majority of poisonous applications. Since Jail-breaking and downloading non-approved applications allows programs to drastically alter the iPhone its likely that its easier to program dangerous applications that can hide better, due to their ability to do anything to the phone.

We shall see if in the future there are further mobile phone hacks, but it is likely to increase due to the large amount of devices that people are using.


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