Unlucky thirteenth country falls for Cabir worm

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South Africa has become the thirteenth country to report a sighting of the Cabir worm.

According to Jarno Niemela, a virus-tracker at anti-virus company F-Secure, an email was posted to it from South Africa claiming a phone had been infected with the worm.

This comes after the worm was spotted in the US several months after it was first found in the wild. A variant of the worm appeared on two Nokia cell phones in a store in Santa Monica.

The worm affects the Symbian operating system and is spread via a Bluetooth connection disguised as a security utility. The phone user has to press several keys in order for the virus to infect the phone.

While the progress of the worm is slow by PC standards Niemela said it shows how phone users are just as in the dark about phone viruses as they are with more traditional computer viruses.

"People have been told not to click unknown attachments in email for past 5 years, and still email worms are one of the most common malware type on PC systems," said Niemela. "So it would be unrealistic to assume that average phone users would be any more cautious."

SC first reported the Cabir virus at the start of January. Since its first foray into the wild it has spread from Asia and through Europe before this week reaching the US and South Africa.


Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition

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