Surprisingly sophisticated mobile malware targets Android

Identity theft is down, but your phone is working for the bad guys

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Called Soundminer, the low-profile Trojan monitors your phone calls and records when someone speaks a credit card number or other key phrase. Then it sends that information back to its masters across the Internet.

"Our study shows that an individual's credit card number can be reliably identified and stealthily disclosed. Therefore, the threat of such an attack is real," according to one of the researchers.

The Web was a favorite source for infection by less-impressive malware during 2010, according to McAfee, and for a wider array of devices – including tablets, phones, and Internet TVs, most notably Zeus-Murofet, Conficker and Koobface.

Phishing URLs continue to proliferate and do a much better job than legitimate sites of getting themselves placed high in Google searches. McAfee found 51 percent of the 100 results from top daily search terms led to malicious sites, each of which had an average of five malicious links.

The trend will continue during 2011, McAfee predicted. Unnecessarily.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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