Botnet might be living within your Android Phone
Researchers confirmed the spread of malware among smartphones. This has been the major subject of peeve among tech junkie communities, as the malware creates a “botnet” that sends out spam from users’ e-mail accounts. From various investigations, experts discovered that the effected Android phones are coming from the Philippines,Chile,Venezuela,Indonesia,Ukraine,Lebanon,Thailand,Oman,Saudi Arabia, and Russia.
Microsoft security engineer Terry Zink was one of the first few authorities to point out the problem of botnet infections of phones. Zink explained that Android may actually contain the most number of malware compared to equivalent smartphone platforms.
Though the botnet may have come from downloads at the back alleys of the Internet (away from legitimate Android Marketplaces), the suspicion that Android users are behind the malware is not sacked.
Speculations from Yahoo and Sophos
The discovery of the botnet fueled the dispute between Yahoo and Google, as researchers from Sophos claimed that infected android phones are behind the spam messages received by users of Yahoo Mail.
Chester Wisniewski from Sophos asserted that there is a huge possibility that Android phone users have downloaded torjanized pirated copies of paid Android applications to. The samples analyzed pointed to originating places including Argentina,Pakistan,Russia,Ukraine and Jordan.
As a disclaimer, he said the widespread nature of botnet is a bit unusual as most of the malware of Androids are not acquired from Google Play. Rather they are often localized from black market download sites. He said that the problem may have roused from potentially fake email signatures.
Botnet was an isolated case.
Was Android Wrongly Maligned?
Security researchers admitted that Android phones may have been wrongly accused as the source of botnet malware. Investigations clearly showed that the involvement of Android in this issue is not actually certain.
Zink backed the findings and published an updated post. He acknowledged the likelihood of the spam headers being altered to make them look like they originated from Android phones: “Yes, it’s entirely possible that bot on a compromised PC connected to Yahoo Mail, inserted the the message-ID thus overriding Yahoo’s own Message-IDs and added the ‘Yahoo Mail for Android’ tagline at the bottom of the message all in an elaborate deception to make it look like the spam was coming from Android devices…”
Nonetheless, he did not dismiss the idea that Android users may have abused the platform. The ubiquity of the device, he said, could have been the motivation of spammers to spread the botnet.
Google Answers the Accusations
One of the spokesmen of Google, the developer of Android devices, claimed that the evidences laid out were not enough to prove that botnet really did originate from the devices. He pointed out that the spammers may have developed the malware from infected computers and faked mobile signatures. They might have tried to by-pass the anti-spam mechanisms of e-mails.
Kevin Mahaffey, Chief technology Officer of Lookout added that their research have not revealed any evidences of active botnet coming from Android devices. He said there are existing alternate explanations that they are currently looking into.
As for Sophos, they conceded to the statement of Google and agreed to recheck their findings. Though remaining adamant with the belief that botnet came from Android, Wisniewski said the malware probably came from PCs that have exploited Yahoo’d Android API.
And until no substantial evidences have been presented to support the offense and defense of both sides, botnet malware remains to be one of the unsolved mysteries in the electronics industry.
Sources for botnet
About the Author:
Norris Lemuel Lasay has been writing articles for quite some time. He enjoys hearing new improvements of the present technology. Also, he is a lover of Android and writes some articles about Android security and mobile broadband.
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