Worm hits Europe's mobile phones

A computer worm that attacks mobile phones has been detected spreading through Spain by Finnish Anti-Virus vendor F-Secure.
Written by Will Knight, Contributor

The worm, dubbed Timophonica, activates via email but sends text messages to random mobile phone numbers through an email to GSM gateway in Spain. It is written in Microsoft's Visual Basic scripting language and relies on users to pass it on.

This is not, in fact, the first time a computer worm has affected phones. The ILoveYou worm sent text message from those victims who had email to GSM addresses in their address book.

According to F-Secure the worm originates from Spain. It claims that an attachment contains details of alleged illegal business practices by Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica. "This seems to be a political virus," says Mikko Hypponen, manager of anti-virus research at F-Secure Corporation. "Apparently the virus is trying to protest against the Telefonica company, and it attempts to do this by sending the message directly to people's mobile phones."

Experts have warned that, as mobile phones get more advanced, and portable computers more connected, it will not be long before we see the advent of mobile phone viruses.

"This is the first ever virus to do anything with mobile phones," adds Hypponen. "However, this is not a mobile phone virus, it does not spread through phones, it just sends annoying message to them."

F-secure has not said how many users have been affected by the worm.

In the light of this years Denial of Service attacks and the ILOVEYOU virus John Dvorak worries that we ain't seen nothin' yet. Go with him to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

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