MOBILE OPERATOR Vodafone has been caught out shipping malware infested devices to its punters.
The company was found out when a Panda Security employee received a new phone, only to find the firm's antivirus going ape when the HTC Magic was connected to their computer. According to the insecurity outfit, the phone would infect any PC it was connected to.
Upon further investigation, the phone was found to be infected with not one but three nasties, including the Conficker worm, a Mariposa bot client and a Lineage password divulger. The firm found that the Mariposa bot client was calling home to receive further instructions.
These 'applications' don't run natively on the Android powered phone, so until you hook it up to a PC there's no real problem. That of course, doesn't detract from the fact that the phone is essentially riddled with known malware, courtesy direct from the vendor.
Vodafone was unable to get back to us with an answer as to why this happened or how many devices might be affected. The problem for the operator is one of finding where in its supply chain the shiny new devices are being molested with viruses.
In the meantime, users of HTC devices, whether or not obtained from Vodafone or another mobile network operator, might want to scan the memory cards in their devices with an up-to-date anti-virus utility.
While mobile operators often make a fuss about free content and the ready availability of applications, we expect that most people will prefer not to have their phone's storage and their PC exposed to such software, even for free. µ
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