Mobile phone viruses on the increase

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52 viruses are capable of infecting mobile phones and some reports are suggesting the figure could even be as high as 71, according to the findings of a new study.

The study, by US security firm SimWorks, suggests that the number of different varieties of mobile phone malware has hit new heights since the mobile virus, Cabir, hit the wild in mid-2004.

The viruses are aimed at Series 60 Nokia mobile phone using the Symbian operating system and are apparently cracked versions of applications like BitStorm and SplashID. But some anti-virus vendors are warning against hyping up mobile phone threats.

"The versions are very similar and it's actually probably the work of only one guy," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at anti-virus company Sophos. "None of these viruses are in the wild and I don't think we should feel threatened just yet."

Cluley suggests that mobile phone will only really become a threat once more money can be made out of their propagation.

"There's still a lot of money to be made out of Windows viruses and very little in mobile phones," he said. "Also, it takes more work to produce a good mobile phone virus so virus writers don't bother."

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