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Thursday, July 05, 2012
Microsoft Researcher Warns of Android 'botnet'

A Malware has infected Android mobile phones sending spam emails, a security researcher said earlier this week.

Microsoft security engineer Terry Zink said the malware has infected phones of users' Yahoo email accounts to send out spam messages.

"We've all heard the rumors, but this is the first time I have seen it -- a spammer has control of a botnet that lives on Android devices," Zink said in a blog post Tuesday.

"These devices login to the user's Yahoo Mail account and send spam."

He added the phones appear to be located in Chile, Indonesia, Lebanon, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

"I've written in the past that Android has the most malware compared to other smartphone platforms, but your odds of downloading and installing a malicious Android app is pretty low if you get it from the Android Marketplace," he said.

"But if you get it from some guy in a back alley on the Internet, the odds go way up."

He added that users in the developed world "usually have better security practices and fewer malware infections than users in the developing world."

"I am betting that the users of those phones downloaded some malicious Android app in order to avoid paying for a legitimate version and they got more than they bargained for," Zink said.

"Either that or they acquired a rogue Yahoo Mail app."

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