Repackaged with popular Android applications and games, it is being distributed via unregulated app markets and online forums.
"When an app containing HongTouTou starts, it sends encrypted data containing the device IMEI and the IMSI to a remote host," explains Lookout's Tim Strazzere. "In response, the HongTouTou receives a set of search engine target URIs and a set of search keywords to send as queries."
Once it has submitted the queries to a search engine and has received the results, it clicks on specific ones. To the search engine, this looks like normal user behavior.
According to Strazzere, it can also process a command instructing it to download an Android package file which can monitor SMS conversations and insert content related to specific keywords (potentially spam) into them.
A number of security firms have already analyzed the Trojan and some of them classified it as a variant of Geinimi. But, F-Secure researchers think otherwise: "From our point of view, Geinimi and Adrd differ due to the fact that Geinimi can be classified as a a classic Backdoor for its vast command and control commands, whereas Adrd can be classified as a classic Trojan-Clicker."