Two new spyware programs, SW.SecurePhone and SW.Quieting, are targeting users of Android devices, mainly in the U.S., and could lead to serious data compromises, according to new research from NetQin Mobile.
These programs are collecting all of the data saved on the phone’s SD card. This data includes messages, call logs, device location, and sounds and videos recorded with the phone which may even include sounds picked up near the phone. This information is being uploaded to a central server every 20 minutes. SW.Quieting specifically is forwarding all messages to a monitor phone. Neither program has a displayed icon, and both are operating in the background without any user awareness.
SW.SecurePhone and SW.Quieting reflect the larger and growing trend of malware authors targeting mobile devices, and more specifically Android based mobile devices. These come on the coattails of the HongTouTou and Gemini Trojans, two relatively high profile Android based malware attacks that took place within the last month or so.
The best defense against these attacks is that users practice vigilance when downloading mobile applications. Only download applications from trusted sources and reputable developers. Be careful that apps don’t seek more permission than necessary and run a security application if possible.