Mobile virus warning

The first ever computer virus spread by mobile telephones has been created. No infections have been reported and the worm is said to be harmless, but it is proof that the spread of viruses on mobiles is possible. The ‘Cabir worm’ infects all phones using the Symbian telephone operating system. The worm was sent to anti virus firms, including F-Secure, who felt that although it was harmless, ‘Cabir worm’ may be an indication of trouble to come. The UK manager of the company, Matt Piercy, said: “I would not be surprised to see the first attempt at something more sinister in the next few months.”

How it works: Whenever a mobile phone is turned on, the virus will activate and will appear on the screen displaying the word ‘Caribe’. It will scan the area for other mobile phones to infect, and send a copy of itself to any it encounters. This particular virus has its constraints, as it is dependent on users having Bluetooth technology, which only allows a radius of 30 metres. ‘Cabir worm’ can only latch on to a mobile phone if it is turned on and there is also a warning that appears to inform the user that the source is unknown. A malicious mobile phone virus could wipe contact numbers and other data stored on the handset, as well as sending out replicas of itself to other numbers. Experts are already researching potential solutions to mobile phone viruses, including installing a firewall.