BlackBerrys suceptible to Trojans?

A presenter at Kiwicon, a security conference in New Zealand, recently showed how easy it is to set up a Trojan virus on a BlackBerry. Given this involves installing the client-side program in the first place, Graeme Neilson from Aura Software Security makes it sound like a piece of cake.

“But all code that runs on Blackberrys is signed, right? Yes, Neilson says, but the maker of the portable device, Research in Motion (RIM), isn’t too fussy about who it sells certs to. If you want to get your Trojan code signed to run on a Blackberry, just go to the Research In Motion Web-site, plug in your details, pay a fee and voila! You’re in business.”

Posted by Simon Sage in News

Comments [5 Responses]

November 28th, 2007 at 10:17 am

This article is simply fear mongering. Technically, the definition of a Trojan is “a piece of software which appears to perform a certain action, but in fact, performs another”.

There is no way it is possible for any device which permits the installation of software to not be open to abuse from Trojans, unless you have some body that approves every single application out on the market. That is never going to happen because its simply not economical.

The BlackBerry is no more susceptible to a Trojan than any other computing device out there. The take home message for the user is to only install software from a publicly validated source. But that should be a pretty ‘duh’ statement given the current Internet climate.

November 29th, 2007 at 3:31 am

CRLs (revocation lists) are an important part of security design, but are regularly disabled because they slow things down. Obvious example: IE is the most popular browser in the world and disables CRL checks by default, and it is rarely if ever turned on via group policy at corporations.

Not that it matters much. Most internet users wouldn’t blink at installing unsigned code; some of Microsoft’s own code is unsigned at times.

Trojans are incredibly easy. The real issue is that they aren’t good vectors for distribution - you can be sure that someone will be infected but it’s not the fastest way to spread them. So they are best for targetted attack on specific people to establish a beachhead for other attacks.

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