American blogger accuses Novosibirsk developer of creating Android trojan
Well-known American IT security blogger Brian Krebs has announced that one of the developers of a dangerous trojan for Android smartphones that intercepts text messages is Novosibirsk-based programmer Yuri Shmakov. The company Arello-Mobile, where the latter works, does not agree that there was malicious intent behind his actions, Sib.fm's correspondent discovered on 28 August.
Krebs, who for a long time worked as an IT columnist for The Washington Post, recalled that the virus Trojan:Android/Pincer was discovered in April.
The malware penetrates smartphones running Android through the IMEI identification system. It infiltrates the system disguised as a security certificate, displaying the message "Your device is protected now", before starting to intercept and forward text messages.
Tags in the trojan's code led the American blogger to Novosibirsk developer Yuri Shmakov, who works for large company Arello-Mobile. Nevertheless, Shmakov, who received an e-mail from Krebs, admitted to working on the project as a freelancer.
"Shmakov told me that, based on the client’s specifications, he suspected it might ultimately be put to nefarious uses. Even so, he completed the job and signed his work by including his nickname in the app’s code," wrote Krebs.
He also accused the Russian developer of declining to say why he decided to take the job even though he understood that his creation would be used for malicious purposes. Shmakov only named the final customer's e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. The owner of the address did not answer the blogger's messages.
Maksim Konev, founder of Arello-Mobile, confirmed to Sib.fm's correspondent that Yuri Shmakov works for his company and that Krebs did indeed get in touch with them regarding this issue.
However, Konev insists that Shmakov did not know which program he was developing a part of, as software for remote control of a phone through IMEI is a popular sector. "There are a lot of solutions on the market, people need all sorts of things," he declared. Arello-Mobile has no claims against its employee, said Konev.