Teen Takes on Windows Phone 8

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 @ 08:11 PM gHale

The hallmark of success is everyone wants to prove they can beat the leader. So, along those lines a teenager from India created prototype malware for Windows Phone 8 just weeks after the smartphone platform released.

Shantanu Gawde will demonstrate the proof-of-concept code at the International Malware Conference (MalCon) in New Delhi, India, next week. Gawde, who is a member of the Indian government-backed National Security Database program of infosec professionals, last year at the age of 15 created malware that attacked Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.

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Documents posted on the MalCon website ahead of the talk said Gawde developed a Trojan that poses as a legitimate application before stealing users’ data, including contact numbers, text messages and photos.

It is unclear whether the malware exploits a vulnerability in Windows Phone 8 or it simply tricks users into doing something daft, such as installing malicious code posing as a game or utility.

MalCon should showcase next-generation malware research and Gawde promised to share the prototype Windows Phone 8 malware with antivirus vendors after his demonstration.

Microsoft based the Windows Phone 8 on the Windows NT-derived family of kernels, and shares many components with Windows 8. It’s a radical change from previous builds of Windows for mobile devices, but as Gawde’s work suggests, the operating system is far from immune to security problems.

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