New cellphone virus rifles through phonebook

日期:2019-03-03 01:10:02 作者:欧阳氓陋 阅读:

By Celeste Biever The first mobile phone virus capable of rifling through a phonebook and automatically sending a copy of itself to uninfected phones was discovered by anti-virus researchers on Monday. Commwarrior has no malicious payload but it spreads more insidiously than any phone virus to date because it appears to come from a friend and can spread over long distances, say researchers at the Finnish security firm F-Secure in Helsinki. It packages itself in a file and sends itself via a type of enhanced text message service called MMS – or multimedia messaging service – which is commonly used to send photos and sound or video clips between smart phones. “This is the first time we have seen a spreading mechanism like this,” says Matias Impivaara of F-Secure. “It is clearly more efficient.” Previous phone viruses such as Skulls and Mosquito have had no way to spread from phone to phone and relied on being downloaded from a website, while Cabir spread via Bluetooth, only to phones within a 10 metre radius. Commwarrior can spread between phones anywhere in the world. To become infected, victims must have a smart phone running the Symbian Series 60 operating system and they must actively download a file. But they are more likely to do this than for viruses such as Cabir, which could come from any stranger standing nearby. Downloading Commwarrior is also more inviting than Cabir – which simply asks the recipient to “install caribe?” via an onscreen message box. Commwarrior is disguised either as a legitimate software update from Symbian or a set of pornographic images. But despite this, the phone virus has been surprisingly inactive. “It’s not spreading as fast as you would think,” says Impivaara. Although anti-virus researchers discovered it for the first time Monday on a phone in Serbia, comments posted online by phone users indicate that it has been spreading since January, and yet it is far from rampant. This is partly because few people own the $500 smart phones capable of executing newly inserted code and spreading a virus. But Impivaara says Commwarrior also has a curious feature that stops it spreading quickly and is not yet fully understood. “It somehow goes to sleep before trying to spread,” he says. The likelihood of someone else using Commwarrior’s spreading mechanism and loading it with a malicious payload – such as one that attempts to steal phone numbers or eavesdrop on conversations – is low, as Commwarrior’s source code has not been found online, says Impivaara. More on these topics: