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:
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.