We’ve talked about botnets several times on this blog. Unfortunately, botnets seem to get more and more dangerous every year. What is a botnet? Basically, a botnet is a web of computers that is controlled by one central server. Botnets are often created by hackers and spammers.
Botnets spread through a standard malware infection. A certain type of malware might spread to 1,000 different computers, turning those computers into bots on the network.
One Microsoft researcher claims that an Android botnet might be wreaking havoc on smartphone security around the world. The botnet is gaining access to Android systems via malicious apps. Unfortunately, many of these apps have been infected themselves, which means that even the most trusted and reliable apps could be transmitting the Android malware.
Once infected, the botnet tells the Android smartphone to send out massive amounts of spam. Spam is sent via email to all contacts.
The botnet was discovered after Microsoft’s anti-spam chief noticed unusual amounts of spam containing the signature “Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android.” After looking further into the matter, it was found that mobile handsets were responsible for all of this spam.
Android is a popular and feature-rich mobile operating system. But its open-source coding makes it relatively easy for hackers to exploit. By examining this coding extensively, hackers can identify even the smallest flaws and then exploit them.
Which apps is this botnet affecting?
Most reports have suggested that the botnet is spreading through infected apps. Unfortunately, these apps aren’t just obscure apps with strange names; instead, they’re free versions of some of Android’s most popular paid apps. Unsuspecting users click on the app thinking they’re going to get a good deal, only to have their entire operating system infected with malware.
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