Risk

3/1/2008
08:09 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
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Is That A Trojan Calling?

Numerous security researchers, including the US-CERT, are warning of a new Trojan that attempts to attack Microsoft Windows Mobile Devices. Is that threat anything to worry about?

Numerous security researchers, including the US-CERT, are warning of a new Trojan that attempts to attack Microsoft Windows Mobile Devices. Is that threat anything to worry about?Maybe not. Unless you live or are doing business in China. According to the US-CERT, the Trojan affects Microsoft Windows CE, and can disable this operating system's application installation security capabilities.

According to a blog on security vendor McAfee's Web site, this new Trojan, named WinCE/InfoJack, transmits an infected device's serial number, operating system version, and other information to the malware's creator. Also, according to McAfee, WinCE/InfoJack has been found packed within legitimate installation files, including Google Maps, stock market applications, as well as game bundles. McAfee noted that the Trojan has been widely distributed.

In addition to disabling application security settings by allowing the installation of unsigned code, the Trojan could take any, if not all, of the following actions:

Spread via legitimate-seeming installation files; install as an autorun program on the targeted device's memory card; can spread to another device when an infected memory card is inserted

While this doesn't sound extremely dangerous, and McAfee ranks the threat as low, the Trojan creator is collecting this information for some reason. And with the rising popularity of smartphones, attacks designed specifically for them are bound to rise.

While I've long postponed investing in the hassle of antivirus software designed specifically for mobile devices, it may be time to reconsider. Especially if you're apt to install lots of applications.

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