Friday, March 2, 2012

Smartphone Spyware Reaches the Drive-By Infection Stage

(summary) A team of researchers infected a Google Android smartphone, live, in front of a packed audience of computer security buffs to prove how mobile malware is now on the cusp of the big time... "drive-by" attack...the attack did not require a phone be jailbroken and would work on any of the devices using Webkit*...such an attack would be possible on the iPhone because of the root access obtained via the browser vulnerability...the point we are making: drive-by attacks will hit the phone just like the PCs. 

The technique: The attack followed several steps: the first was a text message delivered to the smartphone appearing to come from the mobile carrier requesting a system update via a link. Once clicked, the drive-by link delivered the first part of the malware to the phone to elevate access (root) privilege, then cause it to crash. It then automatically rebooted, executing the second part of the malware and hijacking the phone's communications. (more)

* Webkit - "Webkit is a tool used by Apple, Google and RIM to render HTML websites in Safari, Chrome and Android, and the latest versions of the BlackBerry."

Now that you know how this works, I'm sure you won't click on any text links unless you are 100% certain are safe. ~Kevin