While other mobile operating systems like iOS, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian are generally free from viruses, Google’s mobile OS Android isn’t so lucky. Today, a new kind of malware for Android has been discovered which records phone calls and can then upload those calls to an online server.
Discovered by CA Technologies - an IT management and solutions company – this Trojan looks like a harmless app (albeit with suspicious app permissions) which, once installed on a user’s Android smartphone, downloads a file from a remote server (without consent). When a phone call is made from that phone, the Trojan records the conversation as an .amr file to the SD card.
Why this piece of malware records conversations to the SD card is unclear at the moment, but the fact is that it does so without even asking the user which is, well, not cool.
It is suspected that, since it can download files without consent, it can upload them too; so the recorded conversations may be uploaded to an online server.
From CA Technologies:
We have been recently blogging about many Android malware as the threat landscape has been witnessing an increasing trend in targeting the mobile platforms and today we have received an Android package to our collection and observed that this piece of malware walks an additional mile by having a neat configuration and has a capability to record the telephonic conversation the infected victim makes. In one of our earlier blogs, we have demonstrated how a Trojan logs all the details of incoming/outgoing calls and call duration in a text file. This Trojan is more advanced as it records the conversation itself in “amr” format. Also it has got many other malicious activities that we have seen in many of the earlier malware incidents targeted for Android platform.
The malware discovered today is quite advanced compared to the older ones which would only log details of incoming/outgoing calls in the form of text.
Apple’s iOS – which is a closed platform, meaning Apple maintains a tight grip on which apps are allowed and which aren’t – is absolutely free from malware at the moment.
Recorded .amr file found on infected SD card
Malware is an issue that is getting more serious by the day for Android. This is because of its relatively open-nature; it is easier for malicious apps to get inside the Android Market as compared to Apple’s App Store.
If you want to be on the safe side, you may want to install a security suite on your Android smartphone. Our personal recommendation to you would be Lookout Mobile Security [Market Link] which not only secures your phone but also has features like backup/restore and “find my phone” for free!