Phones Review

iPhone security jeopardy after mystery spyware found

Under: Apple iPhone, Phone Software
Date: August 30th, 2012

As most know, normally when it comes to spyware threats and such it is usually the Android platform that is in the news, and usually when it comes to the iPhone the iOS smartphone is lauded for its security features, but it appears that the iPhone isn’t totally impregnable as a mysterious spyware has now been discovered that can take over your iPhone.

According to a report over on Bloomberg, FinFisher spyware is made by UK based Gamma Group, and is apparently a spyware that can take control of various mobile devices including the iPhone and BlackBerry, and it can covertly track a devices location, monitor voice calls, texts, and emails and turn on the microphone.

Apparently researchers at the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs’ Citizen Lab have used newly discovered malicious software samples to find out more on the FinFisher spyware. Doctoral student at the University of California, Luskin School of Public Affairs, John Scott-Railton, who assisted in the research has said that people are carrying around tools for surveillance in their pocket, and the tools can be user to switch on the microphone and turn your device into a tracking device.

The research findings are consistent with Gamma’ promotional material for their FinFisher product known as FinSpy Mobile. According to the report FinFisher products can covertly monitor computers, record keystrokes, turn on cameras, and intercept Skype calls, and Gamma market the products for government and law enforcement use.

According to Gamma’ literature, the iPhone can be infected with the FinSpy trojan by tricking the user into hitting up a web link and then downloading the malware that then disguises itself as something else, and Gamma says this it can be as simple as sending someone a link that appears to be from the phone maker with a message such as ‘please install this system update.’

Microsoft has said that they strongly advise Windows Mobile users to avoid clicking on or downloading software or links from unknown sources, whilst BlackBerry has said they only recommend downloading apps from trusted sources, whilst Nokia says users would need to actively choose to install an app such as FinFisher, whilst both Apple and Google declined to comment.

For those that might be concerned about FinFisher spyware, you can read the published research by heading on over to here.

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