Welcome SecurityProNews Readers. In today’s issue, Jason Miller takes a look at the continuing increase of viruses targeting mobile devices. These malicious programs, which are designed to focus solely on technology powering the mobile generation, continue to increase.
|Mobile Viruses Continue To Appear|
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an anti-virus program mobile users can install to block and/or prevent infection. Infections appear to require service provider intervention to sanitize infected phones. Stay vigilant.
In other news, Jason also provides information concerning Symantec’s overdue spyware solution. Welcome to the party, guys. However, their anti-spyware tool is free of charge.
Finally, David Utter documents the return of Sober mass-mailing virus, which appears to be making a successful comeback. That’s just fantastic news; not only do we have to deal with new attacks, but there’s also a good chance of an old one returning.
Enjoy the issue,
Chris Richardson and the SPN Team.
Mobile Viruses Double
Jason L. Miller | Staff Writer
Security software firm SimWorks announced today that the number of known “trojan” viruses found doubled, increasing the risk of computer-borne cell phone infection.
These viruses are dubbed “trojans” because they are often hidden inside game software that is downloaded onto phones. The most recent wave of infection has been found in games for smartphones that run on the Series 60 Symbian operating system used in models from Nokia. Simworks found 52 damaging Trojans in one day.
Notably, the trojans appear to be cracked versions of popular Symbian applications such as BitStorm, BugMe!, Cosmic Fighter, 3D Motoracer and SplashID.
SimWorks CEO Aaron Davidson said, “this is a significant development as until now we’ve usually found mobile trojans two or three at a time at the most. It would be easy for a malware writer to create 1 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”.
Although approximately 20 million smartphones were sold around the world last year, none of the new 52 trojans has been found “in the wild” where they can be downloaded by consumers.
“Until reports are received of these trojans in the wild there is little risk to end users,” Davidson said.
The usual precautions apply, such as never downloading applications or files from unknown sources.
Sober Returns In German And English
David Utter | Staff Writer
English and German variants of the Sober virus are once again tracking across the Internet.
Sober, a mass mailing worm, has returned in a multilingual form, plaguing Internet users again. W32.Sober.N@mm sends e-mail messages with the subject headers “I’ve_got your EMail on my_account!” and “FwD: Ich bin’s nochmal” and carries attachments with names like your_text.zip. Opening the attachment allows the worm to begin harvesting email addresses from the local machine and mass mailing copies of itself to them.
More information on the Sober worm may be found at Symantec’s website.
Symantec: Free Of Spyware; Free Of Charge
Jason L. Miller | Staff Writer
Johnny-come-lately Symantec has become the last of the well-known virus protection providers to release spyware and adware protection in one integrated package.
Norton Internet Security 2005 AntiSpyware Edition automatically removes spyware and quells future risks. Added to the usual virus protection already provided, this will be the first comprehensive package available from Norton.
“Customers want an all-in-one solution,” said Kraig Lane, the group product manager for the suite line. “Internet Security already covers the bases of anti-virus, firewall, spam, and parental controls. We had the option of shipping anti-spyware separately to monetize our work, but customers were telling us that they expected spyware defenses as part of a complete package.”
He added that the integrated offering would be available for Windows 2000 and Windows XP users only and will be available as a free download through June 1st.
Users should get the beta version while they can since the final retail version will probably retail around $80 and must be renewed yearly for $20.
One noted disadvantage of Norton Internet Security 2005 is that it can slow down your PC. And unless you are a Norton loyalist, other well-reputed and free alternatives are out there, such as Spybot Search and Destroy, Ad-aware SE Personal Edition, and Microsoft Antispyware.