Android malware Mazar erases your phone with a single text message

Beware multimedia messages from people you don’t know and Denmark security firm has verified “Mazar” a phone erasing malware via MMS.

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It seems like every time we get past a malware and our phones get a security patch another one pops up almost right away. Heimdal, a security firm in Denmark has found a malware that simple sends one text message and by opening it your phone will either start erasing itself and/or start sending out unwanted calls and text messages.

Based on Heimdal’s initial reports state they think at least 100,000 phones have been infected with Mazar in Denmark alone. There is no word on the spread of the infection outside of Denmark but it can be expected to show up.

How does Mazar infect your phone?
Mazar sends a text message to your phone with a link to a multimedia message to the user that on the outside looks legit other than the fact you don’t know the sender. When the user clicks through the link will download Tor to your phone followed by the malware itself. The sneaky thing is that the Tor software hides the malware’s source link so its hard to find where its coming from.

How to avoid getting Mazar?
These days to avoid almost every type of Android malware all you need to do is not click links from people you don’t know. The best way to get rid of it once you have it is to just do a factory data reset to start over.

It looks like the malware is pretty geo-specific since there have been reports that it will not work on devices with Russian as their default language. Not sure I would want to test it on English but until there are reports of it showing up outside of Denmark I wouldn’t worry too much. All that said you should ever open unknown links or text messages.

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