What Defines a "Botnet"?
Posted by Craig H on 23 November 2009
There have been various reports over the weekend of a new development of the “Ikee” iPhone worm that now collects banking details. It is being reported as a “botnet“, which seems to be a popular term with journalists (possibly because it appeals to “Rise of the Machines” type scare-mongering 🙂 ).
I’ve been quite sceptical about such reports since this July when the “Sexy View” malware on the Symbian Platform was reported as the “first mobile botnet“. Now in my view that wasn’t even a proper worm (it had to be manually installed by the user on every phone it spread to) and definitely not a botnet (there was no remote control of the malware after it was installed), so is there any more truth in these latest reports?
According to F-Secure’s initial analysis, the latest iPhone malware connects to an IP address in Lithuania, and downloads something from it, but it’s not clear from that what the thing it downloads is, or what it does with it. Although they call the IP address a “command & control center”, I remain sceptical, and would like to see some more details before conceding that this actually is the “first mobile botnet”…