NEWS FROM THE LAB - Monday, February 26, 2007

Public Service Announcement Posted by JP @ 13:50 GMT

There are currently two tracks within the channels of mobile malware authorship. It's reminiscent of the early days inside the "Demo-Scene" subculture for computers programmers. There are skilled and not so skilled people on the scene.

Analysis of the binaries reveals that one group of mobile malware comes from very knowledgeable people – whom for some reason have decided to use their skills for harm. The other group of malware is created by a group of individuals that appear to have lesser knowledge – and a crushing lack of common sense.

We are against the creation of all different types of malware but the group with lesser skills creating mobile malware seems particularly peculiar to us. These individuals seem to desire the obtainment of some kind of cool factor by merely editing the work of others and calling it their own. In these binaries, we often discover where the "creator" has inserted their e-mail address into the "new" malware. Or in some instances, they've even embedded a photo of themselves!

Perhaps this is a cultural difference? Many of the authors in this group are from developing countries and malware authorship might be seen more as experiment then as a practical venture. The early days of PC viruses had hobbyist as well. But times have rapidly changed since then…


We would strongly urge those experimenting with the creation of mobile malware to really think what would happen if they did actually succeed in creating something epidemic. If you don't even understand enough of the possible consequences to strip the meta data containing your personal contact information from your new experiment, then you deserve what you get. Mobile malware that succeeds in doing enough damage does get the attention of law enforcement authorities. And we do cooperate with them on a regular basis.

To those malware authors that might be reading, it's not cool and it's not a game. It's a crime. Stop it.