28 Feb 2012

New security flaw found in smartphones

Mobile antivirus software may soon be a more popular protection tool, as a security researcher recently found another security flaw in smartphones, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dmitri Alperovitch, a security researcher, said he and his colleagues discovered a previously unknown hole in smartphones, and they used it to plant Chinese malware that can record calls, pinpoint locations and control devices.

Alperovitch said he and his team infected phones with known Chinese malware. Criminals could potentially infect smartphones with this malware from a link that looks like it is coming from a mobile carrier, at which point it "spear phishes" the user and takes control of a smartphone.

"The minute you go the site, it will download a real-life Chinese remote access tool to your phone," he said. "The user will not see anything. Once the app is installed, we'll be intercepting voice calls. The microphone activates the moment you start dialing."

Alperovitch said he and his team took control of the malware by reverse engineering it. He will demonstrate this Febraury 29 at the RSA conference in San Francisco. Users may need to look into mobile antivirus software to combat new pieces of malware such as this.