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TECH - CELL PHONE VIRUS CABIR

 

 

Mobile phone virus Cabir comes calling

BY OUR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT

The mobile phone virus threat has finally reached the American shores, eight months after its discovery in the Philippines. The Cabir virus, a worm built for high-end mobile phones, was spotted at a Californian mobile phone store in US late last week. Internet security experts F-Secure have made an announcement about the threat posed by the new Cabir worm variant.

Compared to spyware and virus threats to your Windows PC, Cabir may look like peanuts, yet the worm is on its way to proving its potential. Cabir spreads from high-end mobiles fitted with Windows Mobile, Symbian or NTT DocoMo operating systems, having bluetooth facility. Unlike the ordinary computer virus/spyware/worm/trojan, the cellphone virus Cabir takes longer to spread the infection. Basically, it can jump from one bluetooth-enabled phone to another bluetooth-enabled phone when both are left in the “discoverable” mode, which lets the phone look for other bluetooth-enabled devices without the user's knowledge. Once it gains entry to the cellphone, it deletes files from the phone, dials expensive numbers on its own, and most visibly, drains the cellphone’s batteries.

Cabir arrives to cellphone message inbox as caribe.sis file, which carries the worm. When caribe.sis is clicked, the worm activates and starts looking for new devices to infect over bluetooth. When Cabir finds another bluetooth device, it transmit the SIS files to it.

Unlike computer viruses, mobile phone viruses take longer to spread. There are two reasons: one, Bluetooth phones are still not as popular as Windows PCs, so that mass attacks are still not conceived; two, unlike a computer network where a virus can be downloaded and spread, there are no real cellphone networks. An infected phone carrying Cabir has to reach another cellphone close enough to transmit the virus - it cannot spread over voice calls.

When the .sis file is clicked, the cellphone displays a warning message: “the supplier could not be verifed; continue?” If you continue, you had it.

Preventing cabir mobile phone worm infection:
1. Keep you cellphone in “hidden” mode
2. If the Cabir message file (caribe.sis) reaches you, abort installation
Cabir removal tools:

F-Secure Anti-Virus for Symbian can detect Cabir and delete the worm components. After deleting worm, you can delete this directory: c:\system\symbiansecuredata\caribesecuritymanager\ 

Download, install and run the following Cabir fix tool. 

http://www.f-secure.com/tools/f-cabir.sis  

or

http://www.f-secure.com/tools/f-cabir.zip 

Or, with a filemanager tool, remove the following files:

c:\system\apps\caribe\caribe.rsc
c:\system\apps\caribe\caribe.app
c:\system\apps\caribe\flo.mdl
c:\system\recogs\flo.mdl
c:\system\symbiansecuredata\caribesecuritymanager\caribe.app
c:\system\symbiansecuredata\caribesecuritymanager\caribe.rsc

For additional information on removing the cellphone virus, go to this page: http://www.f-secure.com/estore/avmobile.shtml 

BY OUR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT


 

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