[June 6] Anti-virus software developer
Kaspersky Lab reported
Tuesday the emergence of what it believes to be the world’s
first virus to attack mobile phones.
“Timofonica” — as it is called — is an Internet worm
that is reported to be “in the wild” in Spain where it
has been spamming mobile phones connected to Spanish
operator Movistar, sending them spurious Short Message
Service (SMS) messages.
Like previous worms which have caused millions of dollars
worth of damage in recent months, Timofonica spreads via
e-mail, sending itself to addresses stored in MS Outlook
Every time an infected message is sent, Timofonica sends
another message to a randomly-generated address at host
correo.movistar.net — which is a gateway for sending
SMS messages to mobile phones.
Kaspersky Lab says the worm can be detected and destroyed
using its AntiViral Toolkit Pro (AVP). Routines for squashing
the worm have been added to AVP in the regular daily update.
Full technical information is available at Kaspersky Lab’s
a comprehensive encyclopedia of computer viruses.
Written in the scripting language Visual Basic Script (VBS),
the new worm works only on computers that have Windows
Scripting Host (WSH) installed. Both Windows 98
and Windows 2000 install WSH by default.
In most cases, wary users will spot the .vbs file extension
of the infected file TIMOFONICA.TXT.vbs — and be sure to
delete the message from both Inbox and Deleted Items in
MS Outlook Express. However, if the system settings are
incorrectly adjusted the attached file may be displayed simply
as an innocent-looking “TIMOFONICA.TXT”.
With Internet worms and viruses in the spotlight, Russia-based
Kaspersky Lab has prospered, opening offices in the U.K. and
South Africa. It now markets its products in over 40 countries.