It Had to Happen: First Mobile Phone Worm in the Wild. A Lucrative New Market is Born.

A worm for Symbian phones that spreads via Bluetooth has been discovered by Kaspersky Labs, raising substantial concerns in the mobile industry. Cabir, as this specimen has been called, has no payload and is technologically very simple, but spreads through initiating a Bluetooth connection with another phone.

This doesn’t mean that you could infect your Series 60-based mobile with a virus or worm just by walking within 30 meters of an infected handset – you would have to accept delivery of the file. Although this seems like a fairly conclusive reason why a Bluetooth virus would find it difficult to spread, the rapid spread of worms throughout the internet does demonstrate that some people are daft enough to open any sort of attachment and instal it on their PCs etc.

A group of virus writers called 29a are suspected of releasing the worm, with their previous β€œhit” being the Rugrat virus. 29A don’t write malicious worms, preferring to prove the concept.

Anti-virus software manufacturers must love guys like 29a. No doubt in the near future you can look forward to downloading antivirus software to your mobile, from your usual ringtones and wallpaper provider – I’d better get working on that “Mobile Phone Anti-Virus Software Market Now Worth US$1 Billion” headline.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?