Feeds

Vodafone Spain supplies pre-Mariposa'd smartphone (again)

Botnet-ready? Excellent

Seven Steps to Software Security

Vodafone Spain has again supplied a HTC Magic smartphone that came pre-infected with the Mariposa botnet client and other malware crud.

The second incident, involving an Android-based phone supplied to a researcher at S21Sec, comes a week after the mobile phone giant supplied the same type of infection on the identical model of phone to a worker at Spanish anti-virus firm Panda Security.

The S21Sec pre-pwned smartphone kerfuffle undermines Vodafone's assurances at the time of the Panda flap that the incident was "isolated and local". Both smartphones were ordered at around the same time towards the beginning of March.

We spoke to Vodafone on Wednesday, making it aware of the second HTC Magic/Mariposa infection in Iberia. Vodafone stuck by its original line that the problem was "isolated and local" but added that it hadn't experienced the problem outside of Spain. A spokesman added that its investigation is continuing. "Even one infection is one too many," he added.

Dos veces

The S21Sec worker detected the malware after he plugged it into his PC using a copy of AVG's scanner. Aware of Panda's previous work, he forwarded an infected microSD drive to PandaLabs Pedro Bustamante, who carried out an analysis published here.

"According to the dates of the files, it seems his Vodafone HTC Magic was loaded with the Mariposa bot client on March 1st, 2010 at 19:07, a little over a week before the phone was delivered to him directly from Vodafone," Bustamante writes.

"The Mariposa botnet client itself is exactly the same as reported last week, with the same nickname and same Command & Control servers."

The circumstances of the infection point to problems in Vodafone's QA or with a specific batch of phones rather than a stray infection of a refurbished phone.

Oddly, Vodafone UK reportedly discontinued distribution of the HTC Magic two days after the original Panda-related incident in favour of supplying HTC Tattoo as its sole Android device. Vodapone Spain continues to supply the HTC Magic, however. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.