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Monday, 26 September 2005 10:00

Cellphone malware can now infect PCs

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IT security developer, Trend Micro claims to have discovered malware that 'cross the species barrier' from cellphone to PC, and do damage to both.

It says the malware, dubbed SYMBOS_CARDTRP.A, can infect a mobile device by being download via Bluetooth or MMS or from the Web. It overwrites normal applications on the host device with malformed copies which do not operate correctly.

According to one report, the software is disguised as a pirated mobile phone game which the user must download to their phone.

If the user inserts a memory card from the infected mobile into their PC's card slot, the infection has the potential to infect the PC, then from there attempts to spread to other PCs.

According to Adam Biviano, senior systems engineer, Trend Micro Australia and New Zealand, "This attack is really a proof of concept and may be an indication of a new type of blended threat to come.

As mobile threats continue to evolve, it's likely that we will see further attacks similar to this, but utilising more robust propagation techniques and therefore carrying a higher potential for infection."

According to UK consultancy, BWCS, few mobile operators implement security against such infections, but that is changing rapidly.

"Sonera, the Finnish branch of Nordic operator TeliaSonera, and other Finnish operators, have been among first tacos in the world to opt for security software. It is clear that mobile security is rapidly moving up the agenda for operators around the world, even though customers are not asking for it."


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