Feeds

First PocketPC virus found

Proof of concept

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The first computer virus to infect handheld devices running Microsoft's PocketPC OS was discovered over the weekend.

Duts was written by Ratter, of the 29A virus-writing group, as an academic exercise rather than a serious attempt to spread malicious code across handheld computers. The same group created a virus capable of infecting mobile phones running the Symbian OS, called Cabir, in June. Cabir - like Duts - was a proof-of-concept exercise. In both instances, 29A sent its malicious code straight to anti-virus firms.

Mikko Hyppönen, director of anti-virus research at Finnish AV firm F-Secure, said it's easier to write virus for PocketPC than Symbian. "There are well documented procedures for porting applications from one version of Windows to the other. We expected PocketPC viruses to come first perhaps the fact that they didn't shows virus writers are among the many people to have Symbian smart phones. Virus writers are more likely to target gadgets they have themselves," he added.

Duts is a traditional parasitic virus but it's hardly much of a threat because the virus asks for permission before spreading to other files. Once an infected file is launched, it displays the following dialogue box: "Dear User, am I allowed to spread?" If the user clicks yes, Duts infects executable files located in My Device (root directory) of a PocketPC. Duts does not appear to have any destructive payload.

In theory, Duts can reach mobile devices by email or the Internet, through removable memory, by synchronization with a PC or through Bluetooth. The virus is also capable of infecting mobile phones running ARM-based version of PocketPC.

"We don't expect a major outbreak," said Eugene Kaspersky, head of anti-virus Research at Kaspersky Labs. "Duts is unable to spread independently, only infects a limited number of files, and signals its presence in the system when attempting to propagate." ®

Related stories

Virus attacks mobiles via Bluetooth
First 64-bit Windows virus sighted
Win2k virus beats Win2k to release
Risks from hybrid Linux / Windows virus low
Exploit Code on Trial

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.