This week in viruses

Antivirus researchers are tracking a new Trojan horse that could prove to be a more pervasive threat to cell phones than Cabir

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Steven Musil
2 min read
Antivirus researchers are tracking a new Trojan horse that could prove to be a more pervasive threat to cell phones than Cabir.

The malicious software, dubbed CommWarrior and described as a virus by some antivirus companies, takes aim at the version of the Symbian operating system running on Nokia Series 60 handsets.

CommWarrior attempts to spread by sending messages via Bluetooth wireless connections and Multimedia Message Service--different from the Cabir virus, which only used Bluetooth to proliferate. MMS, a mobile technology for sending text messages that can also include images, audio or video, is built into devices from Ericsson, Motorola and others. CommWarrior, however, only affects Nokia Series 60 phones.

Meanwhile, antivirus company Kaspersky Lab is preparing to release antivirus software for smart phones that use the Symbian operating system. Cell phone viruses are still relatively rare, but Kaspersky's move into mobile antivirus software shows it expects more problems in the future.

Kaspersky's Anti-Virus for Symbian OS, which is in open beta testing, enables people to set their phone to receive regular antivirus updates. Alternatively, they can download the updates manually from the WAP section of Kaspersky's Web site. The cell phone security software includes a monitor to intercept viruses as they arrive and a scanner that looks for malicious code on request.

Meanwhile, Sidekick users raged against their machines, as service provider Danger fought to isolate issues that disconnected the hip phones from e-mail, instant messaging and other data services. The severity of the issues varied widely, with some consumers reporting that they had been without service for more than 24 hours, while others reported no issues, according to a review of more than 150 posts to a Sidekick and Sidekick 2 forum.

The outages are the latest issues plaguing the mobile phone and Internet services provided by Danger and T-Mobile. Both companies have come under scrutiny as the means by which online thieves managed to steal the addresses, e-mail messages and images from the Sidekick of celebrity heiress Paris Hilton.