Mobile phone virus hits New Zealand

The Cabir mobile phone virus -- which spreads using Bluetooth -- has been reported in New Zealand for the first time, according to European anti-virus firm F-Secure.Cabir infects the Symbian operating system used in many of the most popular smart phones.

The Cabir mobile phone virus -- which spreads using Bluetooth -- has been reported in New Zealand for the first time, according to European anti-virus firm F-Secure.

Cabir infects the Symbian operating system used in many of the most popular smart phones. There have been many different variants of the Cabir virus since the malware's source code was published on the Internet last year. New Zealand is the 22nd country to have reported a Cabir Infection.

Mikko Hyppönen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure, told ZDNet Australia  that although the risks of being infected are still "miniscule", the virus is spreading around the world.

"We got the first case of Cabir in New Zealand yesterday. That makes it the 22nd country in the world that has been infected. The risks are still very small -- miniscule compared to getting a PC virus -- but it is there," said Hyppönen.

The threat from mobile phone virus infections has been dismissed by some companies as hype and scaremongering but Hyppönen insists that the threat is real.

"We are not hyping this we are reporting what we are seeing. Cabir is in 22 countries and we are getting real live infection reports from the US so it is not just theory it is out there," said Hyppönen.

Last Friday, F-Secure reported that it had received reports of the first Cabir infection from Greece. Cabir was discovered in Australia earlier this year.