Mobile phone viruses very much a reality

Viruses that attack mobile phones are still a minority in existence and haven’t taken up the proportion of those that desktop computer viruses do, but security experts in government agencies as well as security software development organizations feel that it is not long before the virii become a menace in the mobile phone industry as well.

The time frame for mobile viruses to become a full-blown threat ranges from six months to five years depending on the infrastructure utilized by phone companies to keep these miscreants at bay.

So how are these virus writers faring? They have managed to hit some mobile phone users in Europe and Asia but this recent security analysis has been mostly for the US consumers. Some analysts are also not considering the mobile phone virus threat any threat at all. They feel that even the smartest geeks may find it very difficult (impossible actually) to be able to write viruses for mobiles as easily as for the desktop environment.

So are mobile phone companies themselves behind the promotion of the hype against these mobile viruses? A largely unknown fact, but there does seem to be a vested interest of mobile phone companies to promote the threat factor here in order to introduce a new suite of products in the market; watch out for new color coded virus warnings (orange alert). This rumor is not likely to have any legal validation but does strike many as a strong possibility.

This is a summary of the most prominent mobile virus threats compiled by Tech News World:

1. Cabir. Discovered June 20, 2004. Platform: Symbian Series 60. Replicates via Bluetooth.

2. Win CE DUTS. Discovered July 17, 2004. Platform: Windows CE for Pocket PCs. Replicates via file sharing/e-mail.

3. Win CE BRADOR. Discovered Aug. 5, 2004. Platform: Windows CE for Pocket PCs. Replication is through manual installation.

4. Qdial. Discovered Aug. 12, 2004. Platform: Symbian Series 60. It replicates when users download what they think is the Mosquitoes game from the Internet or peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

5. Skulls. Discovered Nov. 21, 2004. Platform: Symbian Series 60. Replicates via download from Symbian shareware sites

6. Velasco. Discovered Dec. 29, 2004. Platform: Symbian Series 60. Replicates via Bluetooth.

7. Locknut (Gavno). Discovered Feb. 1, 2005; Platform: Symbian Series 60. Replicates via download from Symbian patch sites.

8. Comwar. Discovered March 7, 2005. Platform: Symbian Series 60. Replicates via Bluetooth.

9. Dampig. Discovered March 8, 2005; Platform: Symbian Series 60.

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