A particularly-sinister virus, dubbed Mazar Bot, has been circulating recently, this one targeting Android mobile devices. While the typical virus attempts to infect a smartphone through an embedded link in an email or email attachment, Mazar Bot appears as an SMS (text) message. The text informs the recipient she has a multimedia message, accessible through the provided link. Clicking text links to access transmitted photographs, for instance, is common place. Persons who would never consider clicking on an unknown email link don't think twice about following a text message link. Mazar Bot is especially insidious because it can obtain administrative rights to a user's phone, enabling it to delete all phone data, or worse, intercept all SMS messages, including codes sent as part of multifactor authentication.
As with is true against other malware threats, vigilance is the best defense. Exercise care before clicking on any link from any unknown source in any electronic communication. You should also turn off the phone's ability to automatically download multimedia messages. More information on Mazar Bot, and steps you can take to protect yourself, is readily available on the web, including these sites:
- "Security Alert: Mazar BOT Spotted in Active Attacks – the Android Malware That Can Erase Your Phone"
- "Have a Google Android Smartphone? New Mazar Bot Malware Can Erase All Your Data"
- "A New Malware Dubbed Mazar Bot is Threatening Android Users and Has the Ability to Gain Root Access to the Mobile Device and Completely Wipe It"
- "This Android Malware Can Root Your Device And Erase Everything"