Mobile devices running the Windows Mobile and Symbian S60 3rd edition operating systems face potential abuse from a couple of new spying tools.
Security firm F-Secure has posted their discovery of two similar spying tools for mobile devices. The tools function similarly, according to F-Secure’s blog post.
“After being installed on the device, they hide from the user and report information from the phone to a central server. From there, it can be accessed through a web page interface,” the report said.
The scary part comes in the way the spyware for the Symbian platform can arrive on those handsets. F-Secure said the spyware has been digitally signed by Symbian.
This being the case, the software can be installed in the background, without the OS throwing up any warning signs. The criminals behind the spyware can see every call made from the phone at their leisure.
People may be fooled by the software’s certificate, referenced as RBackupPro. The spyware does function as advertised, by backing up call data to a remote server. There is no need to try and counter security measures thanks to the spyware being signed.
The problem for users comes when someone installs the software on their device without their knowledge. Also, people may not realize that the same security issues that exist for PCs have been making their way to mobile phones; the comfort level is different.
Without that kind of awareness, a silent threat like the spyware described above could end up on a lot of phones unless they have an updated security package running. Such threats could spur the market for mobile antivirus software considerably.