Malware infected memory cards of 3,000 Vodafone mobiles

The company is now investigating how the malware programs ended up on the phones

Malware-tainted memory cards may have ended up on as many as 3,000 HTC Magic phones, a greater number than first suspected, Vodafone said Friday.

The problem came to light earlier this month after an employee of Panda Security plugged a newly ordered phone into a Windows computer, where it triggered an alert from the antivirus software.

Further inspection of the phone found the device's 8GB microSD memory card was infected with a client for the now-defunct Mariposa botnet, the Conficker worm and a password stealer for the Lineage game.

Vodafone said then it was an isolated incident, but an employee at Spanish security company S21sec discovered another phone with an infected card, which it sent to Panda. That phone was purchased directly from Vodafone's Web site in the same week as the first phone, according to Panda.

It is unclear how the batch of memory cards became infected although an investigation is under way, said a spokesman for Vodafone in Spain. There are no problems with either the HTC Magic phone or its Android OS. The malware only affected phones sold in Spain.

Vodafone will send a letter along with a new memory card to affected customers, the spokesman said. The letter will contain instructions for how customers can give their PCs free antivirus scans on Panda's Web site, which partners with Vodafone. He said Vodafone will give security software to people whose computers have become infected as a result of plugging in an infected HTC phone.

With the first phone, the Mariposa botnet code automatically ran and attempted to infect a computer. Mariposa was at one time one of the largest botnets, but security researchers were able to shut it down in December after disabling its command-and-control servers.

Conficker is a worm that still infects millions of machines worldwide, but its autorun capability may have been disabled by Mariposa, Panda said. The password-stealing program would not run unless someone double clicked the file.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags htcsecurityVodafonemicroSD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?