RealTime IT News

Cell Phone Virus Ringing

Anti-virus experts have nabbed the first computer virus spreading via cell phone networks.

Russian security consultants Kaspersky Labs issued an advisory for the network worm, called Cabir, which was detected squirming through mobile phones running the Symbian OS.

The Symbian OS powers some cell phone models manufactured by Nokia, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Panasonic.

Kaspersky Labs said preliminary analysis of the code shows that Cabir is being transmitted as an SIS file (Symbian OS distribution file) and disguised as a Caribe Security Manager utility.

"If the infected file is launched, the telephone screen will display the inscription "Caribe." The worm penetrates the system and will then be activated each time the phone is started," Kaspersky Labs said.

The worm scans for all accessible phones using Bluetooth technology and sends a copy of itself to the first one found.

The Cabir worm is coded to infect Symbian OS cell phones, but the research firm warned that it could function on handsets produced by other manufacturers.

Kaspersky Labs said the worm appeared to be written by an international group of virus writers who specialize in creating proof-of-concept viruses.