Smartphone Scammers Recycle Dial-Up Tricks

Trojan diallers call premium lines, racking up huge charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 5:00 AM CST
"Diallers" were common when most people accessed the Internet via dial-up modems, but faded after the switch to broadband.   (<a href="" target="source">©</a><a href="" target="source">philcampbell</a>)

(Newser) – Criminals have revived an old trick dating from the days of dial-up Internet access to target smartphone users. Trojans known as "diallers" that hijack a line to dial dozens of premium-rate numbers or send premium SMS messages are on the rise again, according to security experts. The diallers—generally hired by porn sites which disguise them as software or video clips—leave the victim saddled with huge phone bills.

Scammers find the diallers a more effective way to steal than using regular computer viruses, the head of a security software firm tells the BBC. "PC malware can't just directly steal money from your machine; it has to jump through hoops like keylogging your credit card number or sending spam," he says. "However, mobile malware can just instantly steal from you by making premium-rate calls or messages."

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