Phage virus low threat to Palm users

September 22, 2000 Sophos Press Release

Sophos advises that the first virus to infect the Palm operating system poses only a small threat to users.

The Palm/Phage virus (also known as PalmOS/Phage or PalmOS/Phage.963) infects Palm applications.

Recovery from this virus is possible by resetting your Palm and restoring its contents from a backup. Please note that by default Palms do not backup applications, only data. Sophos recommends that users keep a backup of their Palm applications as well as data.

At the time of writing the Phage virus has not been reported in the wild. Sophos researchers believe the virus is extremely unlikely to become widespread. However, Sophos has issued a virus identity (IDE) file to protect against it because of the media interest. This IDE will be incorporated into the main shipping product in version 3.39.

"It has always been possible to write malicious software for the Palm operating system," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "This virus is a very low threat to Palm users. Those PDA users who follow safe computing guidelines are highly unlikely to be seriously affected. It remains to be seen if this is the first of many such viruses on palmtop computers."