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Korea`s 1st Smartphone Malware Case Reported

Posted April. 23, 2010 02:18,   


Korea’s first case of a malicious smartphone code has occurred. The code causes handsets to make international phone calls without their users knowing about it.

The Korea Communications Commission said yesterday that it found the country’s first case of TredDial, a malicious code started in Britain that works on smartphones running on the Windows Mobile operating system. The smartphones include Samsung Electronics’ Omnia series, LG Electronics’ 210 series and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X1.

The state-run Korea Internet and Security Agency studied phone calls made by 1.6 million smartphone users in the country after receiving reports of malicious codes from a domestic telecommunication operator. The study found 155 cases of the infection in which users’ phones made calls to the Dominican Republic, Somalia and other countries. No phone charges were billed for the bogus calls, however. A senior agency official said there were only signs of “attempts” as the calls were made but the lines were busy or blocked on flights.

The commission said the smartphones were infected in the process of downloading the game application “3-D Anti-Terrorist Action” and video-related software Codec Pack. Both programs have since been deleted. Ahn Lab, a private computer security agency, has updated its V3 Mobile vaccine program and is distributing it free of charge.

Since the massive DDos attack in July last year, experts warn that smart phones are the next target. Globally, some 600 cases of smartphone malware have appeared since the first was found in a Nokia smartphone in 2004.

The government will form a joint task force with the private sector to monitor malware on a constant basis. An official at the state-run Web security agency said the organization is working with domestic telecom operators to develop software preventing smartphone applications from being uploaded to the App Store, the online marketplace for application software products.