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Friday, April 22, 2005

Mobile Phone Viruses Double

By: The Editor
Security software firm SimWorks has announced that the number of known "trojan" viruses found doubled, increasing the risk of computer-borne cell phone infection.

These viruses are dubbed "trojans" because they are often hidden inside game software that is downloaded onto phones. The most recent wave of infection has been found in games for smartphones that run on the Series 60 Symbian operating system used in models from Nokia. Simworks found 52 damaging Trojans in one day. (continued...)

Notably, the trojans appear to be cracked versions of popular Symbian applications such as BitStorm, BugMe!, Cosmic Fighter, 3D Motoracer and SplashID.

SimWorks CEO Aaron Davidson said, "this is a significant development as until now we've usually found mobile trojans two or three at a time at the most. It would be easy for a malware writer to create 1 trojan and give it 52 different names however this is not the case here where we have 52 separately cracked and infected applications. Somebody has gone to an awful lot of time and effort to turn these out".

Although approximately 20 million smartphones were sold around the world last year, none of the new 52 trojans has been found "in the wild" where they can be downloaded by consumers.

"Until reports are received of these trojans in the wild there is little risk to end users," Davidson said.

The usual precautions apply, such as never downloading applications or files from unknown sources.