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Kaspersky warns of powerful new malware

The company says that in one week, it detected more than 6,500 attempts to infect users of Android-based devices with the malware, making it the most popular Trojan Banker to date.

In a recent press release, Kaspersky Lab revealed that an information-stealing malware program discovered last summer has evolved into a mobile banking threat.

The first version of the Asacub Trojan, discovered in June, featured standard functions for stealing information such as contact lists, browser history, a list of installed apps, and also could send SMS messages and block the screen of an infected Android device.

However, a new version incorporates tools for stealing money — for example, phishing pages that mimic login pages of banking applications.

The new version also has new functions such as call redirection and the ability to send USSD requests (a special service for interactive non-voice and non-SMS communications between the user and cellular provider), which make it a powerful tool for financial fraud, Kaspersky said.

The Trojan appears to be capable of attacking customers of Russian, Ukrainian and American banks, according to the release.

Within just one week, Kaspersky identified more than 6,500 attempts to infect users with the malware, making it the most popular Trojan Banker to date.

"Based on current trends, we can assume that in 2016, the development and prevalence of mobile banking malware will continue to grow and account for an even greater share of malware attacks," said Kaspersky Lab USA Senior Malware Analyst Roman Unuchek. "Consumers need to be extra vigilant to ensure they don't become the next victim."