Russian IT security company Kaspersky Lab recently discovered malware that has migrated from Russia to the U.S., presenting a threat to mobile device users.
According to Kaspersky, Svpeng—a type of malware that targets mobile devices—was detected a year ago. The first releases of the malware sought to steal payment card information from customers at a Russian financial institution.
Kaspersky said a new variant was discovered in the U.S. in which the malware infiltrates a mobile device using a social engineering technique via text messages. The lab said that while the variant does not yet steal credentials, a simple Trojan modification could change that.
Currently, the malware scans a user’s phone for a list of certain financial applications. Kaspersky said the new variant will eventually steal login and password information for online banking applications like it does among Russian mobile users.
According to Kaspersky, after the malware identifies the application, it freezes the user’s screen with a fake FBI penalty notification demanding $200 in the form of Green Dot MoneyPak cards.
The English-language version of Svpeng checks for the following applications: USAA Mobile, Citi Mobile, AmEx Mobile, Wells Fargo Mobile, Bank of America Mobile Banking, TD app, Chase Mobile, BB&T Mobile Banking and Regions Mobile.