While most of us just take for granted the security of our smartphone communications and the safety of the data that we build up on the phone's native memory, some scientists are saying that malware called "rootkits" can turn your smartphone into a eavesdropping tool, listening in on meetings, private conversations and more. At the same time, the battery on your phone
can be drained to make your phone inoperable. The travels of the owner can be discovered and any personal data on the phone can be compromised. Scientists at Rutgers were able to recreate these events. Vinod Ganapathy, Assistant Professor of computerscience in Rutgers’ School of Arts and Sciences, said, “Smart phonesare essentially becoming regular computers. They run the same class ofoperating systems as desktop and laptop computers, so they are just asvulnerable to attack by malicious software or malware." Professor Liviu Iftode added, "Whatwe’re doing today is raising a warning flag. We’re showing that peoplewith general computer proficiency can create rootkit malware for smartphones. The next step is to work on defenses.” The findings are expected tobe presented at the International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systemsand Applications.