Symbian phones infected with Botnet virus

A mobile security software firm claims that Botnets have been discovered targeting a number of Symbian Series 60 OS phones--potentially affecting 100,000 mobile phones.

NetQin, the company that has identified the threat, said Botnets that are using popular topics such as the World Cup in order to spread have been initiated to trick users of the Symbian S60 third and fifth generation operating systems.

NetQin said the malware was programmed to send SMS messages from compromised devices that contained URLs linking to malicious websites, while the viruses would also delete sent messages from the outbox and SMS log.

"These Botnets do one of two things: send messages to all the contacts of the address book directly, or send messages to random phone numbers by connecting to a server," NetQin explained in a blog posting.

The company said that it was talking to mobile operators with regard to establishing a route to stopping the spread, but it also advised Symbian Series 60 owners to update their virus database to be protected from this new Botnet generation of viruses.

Responding to this report, Symbian denied there was any evidence that the malware is using handsets in a Botnet, and that it had already rescinded the software's certification. "Users who are concerned about malware should turn on revocation checking on their phones."

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