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Symbian phones targeted as carriers for Windows worm

Old school virus can also infect floppy disks

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Anti-virus company F-Secure has posted details of a Windows virus which can use a Symbian handset to transport itself between systems. The Mobler worm infects a Windows system, hides the Windows folder and sets about copying itself into different directories and on to any removable media available.

It also creates a Symbian installation file which, if executed by an unwary user, installs a copy of the virus onto any removable media on the handset. Once there it depends on a curious user to execute it when attached to another computer.

In many ways this is a blast from the past in terms of virus design: when a virus would copy itself into an application and rely on that application being moved between systems. Indeed; on systems which have floppy drives Mobler will repeatedly attempt to copy itself onto a disk even if there isn’t one present, the sounds of which should present a clue that something is amiss. In these days when infection can follow opening a dodgy e-mail or just visiting the wrong web site, it’s harking back to simpler times to require the user to actually execute the infection themselves.

But apparently F-Secure received a copy of Mobler from an infected customer, so normal warnings apply: keep anti-virus software up to date, don’t open dodgy e-mails and, additionally, don’t run applications which suddenly appear on your removable media.

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