By Tim Wilson
Feb 23, 2010
Computer scientists at Rutgers University this week are demonstrating
ways that rootkits can attack new generations of smart mobile phones.
The researchers, who are presenting their findings at a mobile computing
workshop in Maryland, are showing how a rootkit could cause a smartphone
to eavesdrop on a meeting, track its owner's travels, or rapidly drain
its battery to render the phone useless -- all without the user's
"Smartphones are essentially becoming regular computers," says Vinod
Ganapathy, assistant professor of computer science in Rutgers' School of
Arts and Sciences. "They run the same class of operating systems as
desktop and laptop computers, so they are just as vulnerable to attack
Ganapathy and computer science professor Liviu Iftode worked with three
students to study the use of rootkits in smartphone operating systems.
They note that while many PCs carry virtual machine monitors to help
detect rootkits, most smartphones cannot support a VM monitor.
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