Is your cell phone at risk?

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Staving off infection

Here’s a sampling of current mobile threats, how they spread and how to remove the virus from devices.
Virus How it’s spreadWhat it doesHow to remove itNo. of variants (as of April 6)
CabirSpreads via Bluetooth to nearby devices that are in “discoverable” mode. User has to accept the download and installation of the infected application.

No permanent damage, but can drain battery as worm seeks out new Bluetooth-enabled targets.

Removal tools are available from anti-virus vendors.21
CommwarriorSpreads via Bluetooth and MMS messages, claiming to be an important application or Symbian OS security update. User still has to accept file transfer and install. No permanent damage. It can drain battery as it sends MMS messages to contacts in the device’s address book and looks for targets via Bluetooth.Removal tools are available from anti-virus vendors.1
DreverUser downloads/installs malicious “antivirus.sis” file.It disables Simworks and Kaspersky anti-virus software for Symbian. Needs to be reinstalled.

Use Application Manager to uninstall “antivirus.sis.”

FontalMalicious SIS file that user downloads from peer-to-peer or other site.Installs a corrupted application on Nokia Series 60 phones, causing them to lock.

Restore phone to original settings, erasing all data.

LocknutAnother malicious SIS file that a user has to download and install.Virus can cause problems with Symbian ROM, making phone lock.Removal tools are available from anti-virus vendors.2
MabirA new version of Cabir that spreads by sending a SIS file via Bluetooth and MMS; virus replies to incoming messages.

No permanent damage, but could drain battery.

Removal tools are available from anti-virus vendors.1
SkullsUser downloads a malicious SIS file. File looks like a theme manager or some other handy application.Replaces application icons with skull and crossbones; hinders access to applications.Removal tools are available from anti-virus vendors.8

Learn more about this topic

Mobile phones: An ear full of worms

IDG News Service, 12/03/04

Smartphone virus, spam threats loom

Network World Wireless in the Enterprise Newsletter, 12/20/04

Cabir worm wriggles into U.S. mobile phones

IDG News Service, 02/21/05

Skulls Trojan attacks Symbian mobile phones

IDG News Service, 11/22/04

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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