While browsing we have commonly across the different pop-ups and have been taken from our surfing page to another window, where we are asked to click on the link or share the page with others to get a prize. Such messages and links are all viruses or malware. If a link or a short URL have been sent to the device in use the user should be wary of and should think twice about clicking on it. Android and iOS users being warned about URL Shorteners. Security experts are warning that URL shorteners and Nefarious software are being used and distributed to hand held devices including SMS trojans and banking malware, which can end up stealing money from unsuspecting victims. The experts further explained that the problem is that aggressive advertising techniques are used by most of these link shortener services i.e. such as scareware ads warning and informing users their devices are infected with dangerous malware, advising users to download unreliable apps from the Google Play store or to participate in shady surveys, delivering adult content, offering to start premium SMS service subscriptions, enabling browser notifications, and making dubious offers to win prizes.
Essential Security against Evolving Threats (ESET) is a Slovak internet security company that offers anti-virus and firewall products. ESET said threats will be different with these URL shorteners depending on the devices being used.
iOS Users URL Shorteners
In iOS devices the users will be flooded with unwanted ads, will have their calendars filled with events that spam them and baits them to click on dangerous links.
In Android devices, the users could be prompted to download a malicious Android application package (APK) app which loads what ESET has labeled the Android/FakeAdBlocker malware.
These malwares after downloading, executes payloads such as banking trojans, SMS trojans and aggressive adware to Android devices.
Banking trojans are malicious backdoor programs designed to steal financial information or money from online banking apps and other fintech platforms.
SMS trojans involve the creation and distribution of malware by cybercriminals designed to target a victim’s mobile device. These Trojan, in turn, are designed to make unauthorized calls or send unauthorized texts without the user’s knowledge or consent.
In 2020, the FBI warned that banking trojan attacks were likely to surge as more people began banking online amid the pandemic.