Mariposa Bot Shipped With Vodafone Smartphone

It’s one thing to infect your PC or mobile device when you accidentally or foolishly click on a malicious link. But what happens when the smartphone you just bought arrives with malware already installed?

eSecurity Planet digs into the latest frontier for malware purveyors: the devices themselves. According to researchers at Panda Security, a staff member’s new Vodafone HTC smartphone running the Android operating system was infested with a variety of malware right out the of the gate– including the Mariposa botnet and Confiker virus.

Once the PC was infected, the malware began “phoning home” to receive further instructions, probably to steal all of the user’s credentials and send them to the malware writer.

Researchers at antivirus software vendor Panda Security are used to finding malicious code in every nook and cranny of the Internet. But this week they stumbled across something even more concerning: a colleague’s new Vodafone HTC Magic smartphone was shipped with a motley assortment of malware samples, including the potent Mariposa botnet.

When the phone, which runs on the Android operating system, was plugged into a Windows PC via the USB port, the Panda Cloud Antivirus software “went off,” detecting both an autorun.inf and autorun.exe as malicious.

“A quick look into the phone revealed it was infected and spreading the infection to any and all PCs that the phone would be plugged into,” Pedro Bustamante, a senior research advisor at Panda Security, said in a blog posting.

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