BBC writes smartphone spyware, and Android malware developments

Graham Cluley

BBC technology correspondent Mark Ward has shown TV viewers today how easy he found it to create spyware that could steal contacts and SMS text messages from a smartphone.

The good news is that the BBC doesn’t appear to have broken any laws (unlike when the BBC Click programme controversially hijacked a botnet of 22,000 computers and told them to each send 500 spam emails).

In this latest broadcast, Mark Ward’s smartphone spyware – which was disguised as a crude noughts-and-crosses game – was not uploaded to an app store, and was only downloaded onto a single handset. In other words, it appears to have been a “laboratory” experiment done as a proof-of-concept.

Of course, it didn’t prove anything that we didn’t already know – but there’s no denying that it will have helped raise awareness…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.

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