That was quick! Security researchers at Microsoft and Sophos say they may have spoke a bit too soon about Android phones hosting a BotNet and spamming through Yahoo mail servers. Terry Zink, one of the discovers of the issue, said the following on his MSDN security blog:

Yes, it’s entirely possible that bot on a compromised PC connected to Yahoo Mail, inserted the the message-ID thus overriding Yahoo’s own Message-IDs and added the “Yahoo Mail for Android” tagline at the bottom of the message all in an elaborate deception to make it look like the spam was coming from Android devices.

In addition, researchers at Google and Alex Stamos, CTO of Web-security firm Artemis Internet, say it's far more likely that the people behind the attacks were spoofing the mail headers and adding the tagline, simply because it's difficult to spoof the IP on a mobile device. 

In any case, the rest of the warnings still stand. If you're not going to pay for apps, whether because you're cheap or because you're unable to, use some common sense and be careful. Malware certainly does exist, even if it's not at the proportions some members of the media try to make it out to be.

Source: WSJ


Reader comments

Microsoft, Sophos security might have jumped the gun on that scary Android botnet thing


Just looking at the trends over the last few months its clear MS and Apple have their favorite bloggers spreading FUD.

"Don't be a pirate or you'll get this nasty virus!

"Oops, we were wrong about the virus part, but don't be a pirate anyway!".

Seriously, I agree with the "don't pirate software" part, but it's still damn funny.

Seriously, if the extent of their analysis consisted of reading a header in an email and then BELIEVING that header, you can write Sophos off as a serious contender in the malware arena.

Can't say I ever have unless you count these two applications. First I had to download ShadowGun and try it because it did run fine on my old Sprint Evo 4G contrary to some of the reviews in the market so I bought it and second after spending $25 on in app purchases in Zenonia 4 and loosing it after having to trade in my Nexus for a new one a couple weeks after buying it because it was defective I found a hacked apk with a ton of Zen right from the start. Same thing with music after loosing all my CD's I ripped to my computer and having to download them after hard drive failed. All in all though I thinks it's best just to support the developers for what ever content you own because in the long run we all have to pay more to make up for lost revenue that others just download.

If you read the next paragraph in that blog, it does say that he at least thinks it's unlikely that the headers are spoofed. I'm not so certain. It's pretty common among virus writers to spoof a few things to provide some nice false trails for lazy investigators.
I agree with your bottom line though. Practice safe app downloading.