First Destructive Phone Virus in the Wild

Cracked copies of Mosquito, a game for Series 60 phones, have a little extra – a dialler that sends SMS texts to premium rate numbers. Pirated software has always been a popular vector for virus and Trojan infections, but this is the first time it’s been observed in mobile phones. Risk of infection is yet another reason why consumers should stay away from copied games and applications – you don’t know where they’ve been.

In this case, the dialler was actually included and written by the company, Ojom, who produced the game as a form of revenge for pirating it. The dialler was removed as it didn’t work as required – and you guessed it, old copies with the dialler appeared on the internet.

The dialler is not strictly a virus – it doesn’t reproduce and finds its way onto your system by hiding in something else, so it’s properly identified as a Trojan horse. In this case, the infection can be removed by un-installing the game.

Ojom Games

Published by

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?