Malware able to record phone conversations looming: BitDefender

Head of online threats talks threat predictions, Stuxnet, Anonymous and the Internet Interpol

BitDefender head of online threats lab, Catalin Cosoi

BitDefender head of online threats lab, Catalin Cosoi

The time will come when malware evolves to record smartphone conversations and Android continues to be exploited, according to an international security expert.

BitDefender head of online threats lab, Catalin Cosoi, told Computerworld Australia that the increasing sophistication of malware was "keeping him awake" at night.

"We are going to see malware that records phone conversations and we’ve already seen malware that extracts contact message documents and email documents," he said.

"There is a lot of malware written for social media, Android devices and computers that are highly focused on extracting information about the users.”

According to research conducted by BitDefender, 80 per cent of malware discovered for smartphones running on Android was designed to extract data from the phone.

"Our prediction is that this data will be used in creating different profiles and then you can target them with whatever you want, whether this is a really good phishing attack or persuade them to spend money," Cosoi said.

“We can prove that this can be done automatically, so our prediction is that all these botnets who are sending spam, they are going to extract scripts and then run it using these details."

Being based in Romania, which is one of many countries known for writing malware programs, was a problem for Cosoi, who said there was even a Romanian city known as ‘Hackerville’.

"The main reason was that they caught many hackers in that city, but our thoughts are that those hackers weren’t very good, they didn’t have any development skills and couldn’t actually write code,” he said.

“However, we believe they were working with expert people on the Web and teaching these people what tools to use that would scan for weak points on different websites.”

Turning to the actions of one of the most famous black hat groups, Anonymous, Cosoi said the many arms of the hacker group were also keeping BitDefender on alert, but he believed that Anonymous may have to lay low soon because of their "continual harassment" of international government and law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“They will continue their crusade for this year though, that is for sure,” he said.

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Tags smartphonesmalwareAndroidsmartphonebitdefender

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