The first Trojan SMS virus, designed for smartphones running Series 60 OS, has been spotted by Russian antivirus maker “Kaspersky Labs”. The virus is called Trojan-SMS.Symb.OS.Viver.
Viver is not a harmless concept study like recent Podloso Linux virus for iPod. If you get infected with this one, it can cost you some pretty money – after installation on your phone, Viver starts sending SMS messages to the premium SMS numbers, thus accruing charges to your mobile account and generating income for the virus author.
While quite a few similar viruses were spotted for all JAVA running mobile phones, Viver is the first to be specifically designed for S60 based smartphones.
Viver virus usually is disguised as a useful application for your Symbian smartphone, e.g. photoeditor, video codec collection, etc; . The infected programs are then placed on the popular mobile software download sites.
As soon as you have downloaded and installed the application, virus gets activated and starts sending SMS messages to the premium mobile number, rented by the perpetrator.
Premium SMS numbers are usually rented by mobile operator to various service companies and are used for legal purposes, e.g. payment for ringtones and other services. The cost of a single SMS can be anywhere between $1 and $10, with the fee being split 50/50 between mobile operator and service provider.
A single number may be rented to separate service providers, with the fee calculated according to the prefix in the incoming SMS. E.g. a message with a prefix “RT” can generate income for ringtones vendor, while the message with prefix “Vi” can be for the virus author.
So far the spread of Viper and similar viruses have been limited mainly to Russia and other countries with “specific” legal systems and the widespread culture of “free” software, but it’s only a matter of time before they will find a way into a wider world.
Well, Nokia is right branding it’s phones as “Multimedia Computers”. Series 60 smartphones really are.
And with all the good things like processing power, lots of memory and storage and multimedia features, the dark side of computing experience is getting on your phone too.
Source (in Russian)
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