Archive for November, 2009

What Defines a “Botnet”?

Mon, 23 Nov 2009

There have been various reports over the weekend of a new development of the “Ikee” iPhone worm that now collects banking details. It is being reported as a “botnet“, which seems to be a popular term with journalists (possibly because it appeals to “Rise of the Machines” type scare-mongering 🙂 ).

I’ve been quite sceptical about such reports since this July when the “Sexy View” malware on the Symbian Platform was reported as the “first mobile botnet“. Now in my view that wasn’t even a proper worm (it had to be manually installed by the user on every phone it spread to) and definitely not a botnet (there was no remote control of the malware after it was installed), so is there any more truth in these latest reports?

According to F-Secure’s initial analysis, the latest iPhone malware connects to an IP address in Lithuania, and downloads something from it, but it’s not clear from that what the thing it downloads is, or what it does with it. Although they call the IP address a “command & control center”, I remain sceptical, and would like to see some more details before conceding that this actually is the “first mobile botnet”…

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Opening up the Security Strategy Working Group

Fri, 06 Nov 2009

We’ve been trying to get a Security Strategy Working Group going, and thus far it hasn’t really taken off. Chatting with various people about this, we’ve decided that, following Symbian’s principles of open governance, we should be brave and open the discussions to the world at large.

Do please note that this is not a commitment to full disclosure of unfixed security vulnerabilities; the point of this working group is, among other things, to discuss what the right policy should be for dealing with vulnerabilities. I (Craig) favour responsible disclosure, but that’s up for discussion.

If you have an opinion on the work items (and you really should, they will affect device manufacturers, security researchers, network operators, package owners and committers, security tools vendors and anyone who even uses a Symbian Platform device) then please sign up for the mailing list!

Meet the Package Owners: Timo

Thu, 05 Nov 2009

Completing the set of package owners in the security technology domain is Timo J. Heikkinen, owner of the Security Services package (and also the Application Installation package in the runtimes technology domain):

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