New mobile virus warning

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Security experts warned mobile phone users that a new virus is charging them £5 to send a premium rate text message.

Speaking at Infosec Europe 2006, Anti-virus company F-Secure found a proof-of-concept virus developed to steal money from mobile customers.

"This virus gets your mobile phone to text a premium-rate number and then it sends an authority that can then charge you without your knowledge," said Richard Hales, U.K. country manager at F-Secure.

F-Secure set up a honeypot where it discovered over a thousand Bluetooth-enabled devices in the first three hours of the show.

Hales said the new virus was similar to the CommWarrior virus that propagated itself via multimedia messages and Bluetooth. He warned that user ignorance was the main reason behind the spread of the malware.

"When someone has a CommWarrior virus on their phone, all phones in range would be getting a message saying 'install CommWarrior, yes or no?'" said Hales.

He said that if people kept pressing the "no" option the message would keep coming back until the user gave in and press "yes" – infecting that user's phone.

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition

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