Scary New Malware Targets Android Phones, Steals Images, Reconstructs Rooms

Malware Phones Surveillance

Photo: via Technology Review

The fellas at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are calling it, “The Malware that will steal your life,” and their doomsaying is not unfounded.The Technology Review reports that scientists at the Naval Surface Warfare centre in Crane, Ind., have designed an Android Operating System malware that secretly takes images (muted, so no shutter sound) and logs the orientation of the phone at the time each image is taken. Then, through reverse construction, and image enhancement, the malware recreates whatever room in which you may be standing, including the objects in that room.

The Review stipulates that the technology could even be used to gleen credit card numbers, or serve to provide intelligence for thieves looking to steal certain items, or case living areas from the inside—Or, more likely, to steal secret documents from other unfriendly governments.

From the Review:

[They] call their visual malware PlaceRaider and have created it as an app capable of running in the background of any smartphone using the Android 2.3 operating system. Their idea is that the malware would be embedded in a camera app that the user would download and run, a process that would give the malware the permissions it needs to take photos and send them.

The Review’s report comes in conjunction with another report that a smart phone crowdsourcing app can map the floorplans of any building.

The military applications for these technologies, it bears mentioning, are virtually limitless. But like the sonar imaging technology in “The Dark Knight,” the recon technology represents a slippery moral slope when it comes to privacy of innocents.

Now: If you went to OWS, your phone was surveyed without you knowing > 

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