Customers unlikely to encounter Mabir mobile phone worm, Sophos reports

April 07, 2005 Sophos Press Release


The Mabir worm will only work on mobile phones running the Symbian operating system. However, there are no reports of anyone being infected.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus and spam analysis centres, have advised customers not to panic, following media reports of a virus which attempts to spread to cell phones via MMS (Multimedia Message Service).

The Symb/Mabir-A worm runs on Nokia Series 60 phones running the Symbian operating system. However, despite excitable reports from some members of the media and security community the virus does not appear to be spreading in the wild.

"The Mabir worm attempts to spread to other compatible mobile phones via Bluetooth and MMS, but - like all other mobile phone viruses so far - appears to be a case of more hype than havoc," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "We would recommend that the public should probably be more concerned about the large number of malicious Windows worms actively spreading via the internet and email."

Sophos believes the level of risk to mobile phone users is presently very low.

"Mobile devices (PDAs and cell phones) have been theoretically vulnerable to viruses and Trojans for some years, but there has been very little malware written," continued Cluley. "The variation in details such as OS version, firmware revision and device characteristics in the mobile arena has resulted in a "moving target" for virus writers. The virus writers seem much more interested in attacking the old faithful target: Computers running Microsoft Windows."