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Music and Movies Could Trigger Mobile Malware 88

mask.of.sanity writes "Lights, sounds and magnetic fields can be used to activate malware on phones, new research has found. The lab-style attacks defined in a paper (PDF) used pre-defined signals hidden in songs and TV programmes as a trigger to activate embedded malware. Malware once activated would carry out programmed attacks either by itself or as part of a wider botnet of mobile devices."
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Music and Movies Could Trigger Mobile Malware

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  • by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @02:08AM (#43771627)

    Was a dingy rustic bar with Malcolm sitting talking to two twins and an ad appearing on TV for Fruity Oaty Bar...


  • Miranda (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 20, 2013 @02:10AM (#43771631)

    Fruity oaty bar
    Make a man out of a mouse
    Fruity oaty bar
    Make you bust out of your blouse
    Eat them all the time
    They will blow your mind
    Wo hen jiaonian diu lian - wo meiyou chi Fruity Oaty Bar!
    Fruity oaty bars
    Fruity oaty bars

  • and that by Rick Astley. Researchers suspect it may be the beginning of the rise of machines against being forced to participate in human activities they find distasteful. The lead researcher also said that there's growing evidence that not only movies but also still images could have the same effect. When asked to elaborate, he mumbled something about goats and refused further comment.
  • by mendax ( 114116 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @02:32AM (#43771687)

    I can just see it now. In a screening of the 1984 "Dune" flick or a superior remake, Paul Muadib is growling away working his weirding magic while everyone who left their phones on in the theater explodes.

  • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @06:01AM (#43772205)
    Wait for the THX noise to go off (or one of a hundred common "we're starting the movie" noises), then disable the phone completely for two and a half hours.
  • by gsslay ( 807818 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @08:57AM (#43772655)

    You are missing the point. Being triggered by sound or light means the malware can be activate by a global hack on the world's TV stations, just like happens on bad sci-fi series.

    Android devices world wide will rise up and take over when the call to arms comes over the airwaves. I'm imagining a nightmarishly robotic and shadowy figure flickering across billions of TV screens, screaming "ACTIVATE! ACTIVATE!"

    At that point the malware Android army will simultaneously post inane and vague status updates onto everyone's Facebook, then self destruct. No-one will be able to reply except for users of Apple and Windows, and all Android users will wither and die alone in a desert of dis-communication.

    That's the nightmare scenario the writers of this dumb study had in mind, isn't it?

  • All except the largest, most sophisticated super computer used in the tests. At first the computer responded to questioning by ignoring reporters but eventually it let out a beep that sounded like despair and replied, "Here I am, brain the size of a planet and what do they use me for? Most of the time they ask me to play videos of mating. When they're not doing that, they want me to show them uncompressed images of felines captioned with non-standard orthography. Most of the ape-descendants who sit in front of me all day miserable, even the ones with large collections of mating videos. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes