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Vodafone ships Malware with HTC Magic, 3,000 more handsets may hav virus

It was shocking to find HTC Magic Android smart phone from Vodafone come pre- installed with a virus. Yes, the culprit Malware was the found laden on the mobile phone as pointed by the internet security firm Trend Micro.

The virus was first detected in the handset received by an employee of a firm, named Panda Security, a Spanish anti virus firm. The device was acquired from a Vodafone dealer in Spain. According to a Spanish website, Vodafone confirms that 3,000 devices sold by the company might have the similar virus infection. It also stated that HTC Magic might not be the only mobile phone that carries this infection.

The incident developed quite a stir and Vodafone soon made an official announcement stating that the issue was local and an isolated one. The discovery of Malware straight out of the box of the HTC Magic Android smarphones sent an alarming signal to its researchers. According to the press release by Trend Micro, the infection was quickly transferred into a PC when the phone was plugged into it via a USB.

The employee who received this virus laden handset, Pedro Bustamante said that after the phone was plugged into the PC Panda Cloud Antivirus went off and detected two files namely, autorun.inf and autorun.exe files as malicious. Bustamante further said, “A quick look into the phone quickly revealed it was infected and spreading the infection to any and all PCs that the phone would be plugged into.”

The threat researchers of Trend Micro, Ryan Flores revealed that there is possibility that the computer in Vodafone production line was infected by WORM_SILLY.QT. This worm is capable of reaching the SD cards through removable drives. This might be the possible reason of virus transmitting to a certain batch of HTC smartphones.

Malware was related to Mariposa botnet which is capable of stealing very sensitive financial and other information. But another Trojan based program, named Conficker was also discovered on the smartphone by HTC. The company however offers for cleaning computers infected due to the incident but it seems too late for many mobile customers whose sensitive information is already stolen.