WOBURN, Mass. (6/17/14)--In what may be the first major security threat to mobile banking users, Kaspersky Lab discovered that a breed of malware targeting mobile devices had made its way from Russia to the United States.
Svpeng was detected for the first time one year ago by experts at Kaspersky Lab. The first instances were designed to steal payment card information from customers of a Russian bank. In the last weeks, a new variant of Svpeng malware was identified, it has been locking up mobile devices of U.S. users.
In the most recent variant discovered in the United States, Svpeng breaks into a mobile device through a social engineering technique using text messages.
For now, Svpeng does not steal credentials, but it is only a matter of time, as it is a modification of a Trojan, Kaspersky Lab said. Currently, the Trojan checks a user's phone for a list of certain financial applications, most likely for future usage, and will subsequently and steal login/password of online banking as it does now among Russian banks accounts.
English-language Svpeng currently checks the following applications presence on a victim's device:
After the malware identifies a mobile banking application, it locks the screen of the mobile device with the imitation of an FBI penalty notification letter and demands $200 in the form of Green Dot's MoneyPak cards.