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A search of sites hosting cracked versions of apps for Symbian phones has unearthed 52 "previously unidentified Trojans", according to New Zealand-based mobile anti-virus specialist Simworks. Other anti-virus experts reckon that the infected files found by Simworks are more properly described as repackaged versions of previously identified malware.

The malicious files found by Simworks pose as popular applications and games such Bitstorm, BugMe! Cosmic Fighter, 3D Motoracer, and Splash ID. In addition to the installation files for the app itself, the files include various versions of previously known malware such as Cabir and Locknut. There are no reports of any of the “new Trojans” in the wild.

Simworks chief exec Aaron Davidson said, "It would be easy for a malware author to create one Trojan and give it 52 different names. However this is not the case here where we have 52 separately cracked and infected applications. Somebody has gone to an awful lot of time and effort to turn these out."

Mikko Hyppönen, director of anti-virus research at F-Secure, said it was likely that a virus author used an automated script to install malicious code in a collection of cracked applications. "We've looked hard on P2P networks and warez sites but have been unable to find the malicious code samples Simworks describes. These files are not easy to come by so the risk posed is quite low," he said.

Hyppönen said Simworks' warning covers 52 new repackaged apps which when run will install Trojans rather than previously unseen Trojans.

Simworks said the malicious files it found target smart phones running Symbian OS Version 6.1 or above such as the Nokia 3650, 6600 and 6630. None affect UIQ-based smartphones such as the SonyEriccson P900 or the Motorola A925. Simworks advises users not to download applications from unknown sources or warez sites. ®

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