Trojans... now for Palm!

Boy, I tell you what. I'm offline for one frickin' day (note to all: having your air conditioning cut out during 100+ weather sucks) and all hell breaks loose. PIII recalls, NVIDIA impersonating Creative, and Rambus getting yanked into court. Sheesh!

Anyway, the Palm has hit a new level of popularity: malicious software. According to this ZDNet story, a Trojan horse for the Palm has been released into the wild. It masquerades as a crack for a Nintendo Gameboy emulator, but in reality it "deletes all programs from any Palm device on which it is installed." Yay.

How the program got into the wild seems to be a point of debate. The author of the thing just happens to be one of the authors of the aforementioned Gameboy emulator. He claims that he gave the program to four or five people to "test" and that one of them must have started distributing it without his knowledge and permission.

One thing that's not made clear in the article is whether (A) he distributed it plainly marked as a "system wipe" utility and someone else renamed it to look like a crack program or (B) he distributed it already configured as a Trojan. If the latter, the fact that he'd already hidden the program's true functionality seems to imply that he was considering releasing it to the wild eventually, regardless of how many people he sent it to for testing purposes.

Regardless, the Palm has a Trojan; woo frickin' hoo. The rest of the article isn't very comforting, either; it talks about how the Palm devices don't really have any security at this point, and quotes a researcher who says that all PDAs have this problem because "they are running on processors that do not support security features." How's that for a rosy picture?

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