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Skulls Trojan keelhauls Symbian phones

Mobile 'Jolly Roger' malware

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Users with Symbian-based mobile phones have been hit by malicious code that disables smartphone features. Skulls, a Trojan horse program that poses as gaming software, is one of the first examples of malicious code to successfully infect mobiles.

Skulls began infecting users after copies of the malware were posted on some Symbian shareware download sites by hacker called "Tee-222", Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure reports. Skulls commonly poses as an application called "Extended Theme Manager". If installed on mobile phones running Symbian OS, Skulls will render the smartphone features of the phone useless by deactivating messaging, net access and other apps. The malware replaces application icons with a picture of a skull, hence its name.

F-Secure warns recovery of damaged functions can be difficult, especially if users don't have a third-party file manager software already installed on their mobile. Anti-virus software for Symbian Series 60, available from a number of anti-virus firms, is able to detect and remove Skulls. ®

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