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Symbian malware escapes Russia

Cash from chaos

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Malware profiteers have created a trio of smartphone Trojans that send out premium-rate SMS messages from infected Symbian S60 devices.

The Trojans, all members of the Viver strain, pose as utility programs for Symbian phones and have been uploaded to at least one popular file sharing site, anti-virus firm F-Secure reports.

After infection, the Viver Trojans immediately start sending SMS messages to premium-rate numbers in Russia. The messages are sent with proper international area codes so they are able to reach their destination even from infected devices outside Russia.

For profit-malware, targeting mobile phones is not in itself new. Previous mobile malware strains - such as Wesber-A, Redbrowser, and Java Midlet Trojans - also tried to send messages to Russian premium-rate numbers. But these Trojans first required user acceptance for each message and were only able to send messages from inside Russia.

The Viver family is more advanced because it is not subject to these restrictions. Although it represents an evolution in mobile malware techniques, let's not get carried away. Infections for mobile malware are rare and ordinary Symbian users have little to fear. ®

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