A teenager has crafted prototype malware for Windows Phone 8 just weeks after the official unveiling of the smartphone platform.
The proof-of-concept code is due to be demonstrated by Shantanu Gawde at the International Malware Conference (MalCon) in New Delhi, India on 24 November. 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.
Documents posted on the MalCon website ahead of the talk suggest Gawde has developed a Trojan that poses as a legitimate application before stealing users' data, including contact numbers, text messages and photos.
Details are thin so it's 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. The MalCon website announced:
The Windows Phone Malware prototype will demonstrate approaches and techniques for infecting the Windows Phone!. Demonstration will include how to steal contacts, upload pictures and steal private data of users, gain access to text messages etc.
MalCon is supposed to showcase next-generation malware research. Gawde has promised to share the prototype Windows Phone 8 malware with antivirus vendors after his demonstration, The Hacker News reports.
Windows Phone 8 is based 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. ®