As we turn our phones into more of a device that we use in replacement of a computer than just something that we use to make phone calls, we must prepare ourselves for the change.
The change is that the cell phone is now a new target that black hat hackers will go after and we must treat it as such.
There are a couple of researchers that are in the business of proving just that fact.
They are trying to show that the phone is the new vector for attacks and they are creating counter attacks for the problem.
To do this, the researcher has to recreate an attack.
The Cell Phone Botnet
One of the new attacks that researchers have shown to be possible is making a cell phone part of a botnet.
In the RSA conference two researchers showed that they could accomplish this fact with jail broken IPhones and the Android.
They used a decoy application that told the user the weather.
A seemingly innocuous application that you wouldn’t think could cause a lot of trouble.
They were able to get basic information from the person who downloaded the application, such as the phone number of the user and their GPS location.
The people who downloaded the application never knew that there was a problem.
The application worked and provided the data that they were expecting.
Since the user had no problem with the application, they were able to grow the botnet to encompass up to 8,000 users.
These guys were creating this particular botnet for the purposes of studying.
If they were trying to attack these particular users, they could have gotten a lot more personal information and used the information against the users.
Botnets on the cell phone is becoming a real threat and something that must be studied further.
When the botnet threat started on the home computer, security researchers did not give the problem the attention that it deserved.
Later it became a huge problem that is still creating havoc to this day.
So we must make sure that the cell phone does not fall to the same problems.
Education About Botnets Is Key
This starts by making sure that users of smart phones are educated that their cell phones could be used as a botnet or other malware that is released in the wild.
Right now, most people are not aware of this fact.
They believe that a phone is a different kind of device compared to the computer.
The fact that they are similar does not cross their mind.
A phone being turned into a botnet can cause a whole new set of problems for people whose job it is to protect the internet.
There are millions more phones out there than there are desktops and laptops combined.
If someone is able to turn a portion of these phones into a weapon, then there will be a huge problem.