Privacy, Security & Virus Information
Is Nowhere Safe?
Malware Attack on Mobile Phones Reported
Most people are reluctant to take the news on board, but mobile phones are to all intents and purposes mini computers and as such are as vulnerable to hackers as anything else that is hooked to the internet. This fact was hammered how a few days ago with the news that a Vodafone HTC Magic mobile phone from was found to contain malware. The Trojan horse attack was discovered completely by chance by a person who works for one of the less well known anti-virus security software developers. She discovered the virus after connecting her phone to her home computer to download some photographs. The alert worker was amazed and bemused to discover that a password stealing Trojan was in residence. The hackers had programmed their Trojan so that it would only activate when transmitting to a Windows based computer, which is becoming increasingly common these days.
The virus software industry is becoming aware of an increase in this trend, with a number of the leading companies now offering a specialist program for mobile phone protection. The mystery that remains unsolved is how the two virus files with the titles of “autorun.inf” and “autorun.exe” had found themselves on the phone, with suspicions that a botnet had succeeded in infiltrating it. Further investigation by Vodafone found that no less than 3,000 phones, all of them sold through the company's Spanish subsidiary had been infected.
Vodafone were apparently taken aback by the attack, and hastily released the following statement:
“Vodafone takes the security and privacy of its customers extremely seriously and launched an immediate investigation into this incident. Following extensive Quality Assurance testing on HTC Magic handsets in several of our operating companies, early indications are that this was an isolated local incident. Vodafone keeps its security processes under constant review as new threats arise, and we will take all appropriate actions to safeguard our customers’ privacy.”
Reading between the lines, no device is safe from cyber hackers, and the fact that they were able and willing to plant some fairly powerful malware and let it lie in wait till it would find a PC to attack, shows the extent of the sophistication and guile that they are prepared to go to in search of the rich pickings of cyber crime.