Feeds

Symbian worm source code slips out

Cabir variants go forth and multiply

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Cabir, the Symbian OS and Series 60 UI-targeting malware, is expected to spread significantly in the coming months after the source code was posted on the Internet this week.

Anti-virus software companies has believed that the worm, which was first detected in June 2004, was the work of a tightly-knit virus-writing cabal. However, the code appears to have slipped out and been brought to a wider audience. A number of the more recent versions of Cabir appear to be straightforward recompilations rather than code-tweaks, suggesting that the source code has leaked.

The upshot, they say, will be the arrival of a greater number of Cabir variants going forward. To date, some seven distinct sub-species of the worm have been discovered. Most recently, the worm was found within a version of the Skulls Trojan.

Cabir spreads between mobile phones using a special Symbian operating system file. When the infected file is launched, the mobile phone's screen displays the word "Caribe" and the worm modifies the Symbian operating system so that Cabir starts each time the phone is turned on. Cabir scans the airwaves and sends copies of itself to the first vulnerable phone it finds using Bluetooth technology.

Cabir causes more irritantion than harm. Not directly dangerous to date, the worm nonetheless keeps a handset's Bluetooth radio active, running down the battery more quickly than might otherwise be the case.

Some more recent versions of the worm are able to spread more quickly, having apparently fixed a glitch that limited its ability to disseminate itself. Instead of targeting one phone between handset reboots, the worm will now try to send to other phones, should the first move out of Bluetooth range. ®

Related stories

'Metal Gear' Trojan targets Symbian phones
Botnets, phishing and spyware
Cabir added to payload of Symbian mobile Trojan
Skulls Trojan keelhauls Symbian phones
Mosquitos smartphone 'Trojan' there by design
First PocketPC virus found
Virus attacks mobiles via Bluetooth

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.