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Android phones enlist for botnet duty

Microsoft researchers reveal worrying trend

Android phones could be the next front in the eternal struggle between security experts and botnets.

A team of Microsoft researchers found that Android phones can be hijacked by an illegal botnet. Writing in his blog, researcher Terry Zink says there is evidence of spam being sent from Yahoo servers by infected Android devices. An analysis of IP addresses used to send the spam revealed it had originated from Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

Zink claims this is the first time smartphones have been exploited in such a way.

"We've seen it done experimentally to prove that it's possible by researchers, but not done by the bad guys," he told the BBC. “We are seeing a lot of activity from cybercriminals on the Android platform.”

Zink argued that the best thing users can do is to upgrade their operating system. However, with the frustratingly slow pace of Android updates, this does not seem like a realistic option for most users.

So, the next time you get boner pill spam, it could have come from a phone in some bloke’s groin.

More here.

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