Google is encountering claims from a Microsoft assistant professor that a working botnet is operating on Android phones and spamming out Viagra and penny batch adverts to gullible punters.
Terry Zink, module executive for Microsoft Forefront online security, took time during the annual July 4 “We’re kicking out the Brits and will spell shade any way you please” legal holiday to post an review of a spam operation using Yahoo!’s webmail service. The spam uses the summary authorization 1341147286.19774.androidMobile@web140302.mail.bf1.yahoo.com and includes the line “Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android”
Zink mentioned that those IP addresses that enclosed place information indicated the putrescent gadgets were located in Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela. He attributed this to the odds that local Android apps sites were selling malware-laced software is to Android.
“The indication does not encouragement the Android botnet claim,” Google told The Register in a statement. “Our review suggests that spammers are using putrescent computers and a counterfeit mobile signature to try to alternative route anti-spam mechanisms in the email stage they’re using.”
Zink’s statement of course set tongues wagging in the safety industry, with vendors broken up on either or not this is an real Android botnet or a intelligent travesty using PCs seeking to mimic such a scenario.
Sophos comparison safety confidant Chet Wisniewski told The Register that spam was still forthcoming in from the botnet at a rate of around 5 pieces an hour, and the inconclusive indication seemed to indicate a working Android botnet.
“There’s only small pieces of indication that this is forthcoming from an Android handset, but no smoking gun that proves the box entirely,” he said.
On Thursday, Zink posted an refurbish to his initial report, revelation that the box is to botnet was not proven. It would be probable to use a Personal Computer to frame out the Yahoo! summary IDs and reinstate them, he said, and to increase the sent-from-an-Android message. He has deliberate this could all be an “elaborate deception” by spammers, but that he stands by his initial findings.
Yahoo! told El Reg in a statement that it was questioning the box and that it encourages users of its mobile applications to only purchase applications from purebred marketplaces.
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