According to a report from BBC, a 20-year-old French hacker has victimized over 17,000 people with his custom-developed trojan masked as normal smartphone apps, bringing in close to half a million euros.
When he was apprehended in Amiens in northern France late last week, he reportedly acknowledged the crimes, saying that he wasn’t driven by greed but instead his ambitions to become a software developer.
The hacker had masked his trojan as many popular mobile applications and offered them to download free of charge. When a user downloaded one of the malicious applications, it would send a text message to a premium-rate number without the user’s consent.
Some of the applications also harvested login credentials for gambling and gaming sites. Most of the applications were apparently created for Google’s Android mobile OS.