‘Lost Phone’ Feature Looks Like Android PUP

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) have long been a problem on PCs, but are they now making an appearance on the latest smartphones?

Android malware has been on the rise recently. Almost weekly we see blogs about the latest threats. I have found, however, little talk about PUPs.

While analyzing some Android samples, I came across this app that caught my attention.

Install Warning

Upon installation, SMS Spy runs in the background as a service and is not visible to the user. If you send the following SMS to the phone “How are you???” it will silently report back via an SMS the location of the phone using either GPS, if it’s enabled, or the location based on the signal.



As you can see below from some of the reviews of this app, some people are using it to track their partners.

App Review

App Review

I have seen adverts on television in which the unique selling point of phones is the ability to find them if you lose them, as show below.

HTC Lost Phone

In my opinion, however, this app has a major flaw; that is why I have added detection. You cannot change the trigger message “How are you???” This means anyone can find your location by sending you an SMS.


Detection for this app will start in DAT Version 6427 as Potentially Unwanted Program AND/Spyware-SMSSpy.