Did TippingPoint Take Things Too Far?

Over at Dark Reading you'll find a story entitled "Smartphone Weather App Builds A Mobile Botnet." The story reveals how a couple of researchers (Derek Brown and Daniel Tijerina) who work for TippingPoint thought it would be a good idea to build and release a rogue mobile phone application. The app poses as a weather infromation tool - but it also grabs phone numbers and GPS coordinates from unsuspecting iPhone and Andriod-based phones. Overall the application found its way into roughly 8000 phones so far, and supposedly it was released "to prove how such an app could steal or modify a user's contacts, read his files, and access his Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as email and passwords."

I find this experiment - unleashed on an unsuspecting public - to be extremely irresponsible. There's absolutely no acceptable excuse for it.  First of all, it's a no-brainer that if you load software into a computer then that software might do stuff you aren't aware of. Second of all, why does the obvious have to be re-proven - hasn't this already been done a bagillion times on Windows, Apple, and Linux platforms? Would it be too difficult to simply tell people that their phone is a computer and that it needs to be protected like one?

Oh wait, there's no drauma and sensationalization in that approach. Sorry. My bad.

 

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

on Sep 27, 2011
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on Jul 7, 2012
Posted @ July 07, 2012 03:24 PM by louie this is a great thing to know "Overall the application found its way into roughly 8000 phones so far, and supposedly it was released "to prove how such an app could steal or modify a user's contacts, read his files, and access his Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as email and passwords."..more power [url=http://www.background-now.com]read it[/url]
on Jun 5, 2010
Yeah mark..agree with u

IT pro's has created a new trojan application ..it does something very simple and useful but has a malicious part too :).

and Of course people will download the application from some trusted website - nothing to wonder about..

we could wonder that there is only one application..





on Jul 8, 2010
I also agree. Remember that research papers can always provide with additional info.
on Jul 7, 2012
this is a great thing to know "Overall the application found its way into roughly 8000 phones so far, and supposedly it was released "to prove how such an app could steal or modify a user's contacts, read his files, and access his Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as email and passwords."..more power <a href="http://www.background-now.com">read it</a>

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