In 2004, the first mobile phone virus, called Cabir, was unleashed and showed relatively harmless. They virus form affected phones running Symbian operating system (OS). It affected the phones that used Bluetooth®, and when the virus was in the phone, it would seek out other Bluetooth® compatible devices, infect them as well.
Cabir was an example of a worm, a virus that reproduces on other devices. Since Bluetooth® has only a short range, the virus could technically only spread to other nearby devices, but as people moved, they could technically meet many other smartphones on the go. The spread was fast and the virus is now present in a number of countries. Fortunately, this mobile phone virus only changed a few words and did not affect the operation of the phone, although scanning for other Bluetooth® devices can quickly empty the phone’s battery. Other viruses are not so innocent, and people are worried that some viruses can be used to completely disable phones, charge customers (which happened with 2006 RedBrowser), or gather secure information about smartphone users.
Another worm performs in 2005 was Commwarrior. It also sends out copies of itself via Bluetooth®, and it can make automatic replies to texts, thus transmitting the worm to other users. Doombot appeared in 2006, a Trojan that appears to be a downloadable mobile phone copy of the game Doom 2. Once downloaded on a mobile phone, it automatically installs both Cabir and Commwarrior, and then keeps the phone from working properly.
RedBrowser has been most expensive for people, especially in Russia, and is another example of the Trojans. It makes text calls to a phone number in Russia, which is so charged to the user. Another mobile phone virus that has many people affected is Flexispy, a bit of spyware that sends logs of phone calls you make to an internet server.
People have the right to be concerned about the proliferation of cell phone viruses to their phones, but many studying and researching this site find that most people do not take basic precautions. There are many security programs for mobile phones, and many people do not take the time to install them. Additionally, if you want to avoid viruses transmitted by Bluetooth®, you can set your phone to “hidden” or “undiscoverable” while not using it. Taking precautions is excellent, and it’s a good idea not to accept or download any files you don’t know, especially if they come from an unknown user.
Since the advent of the Internet, computer viruses have hoaxes competed with computer viruses. The same is true for a cell phone virus. It’s real scams, just like it’s real viruses. A recent one had people believe that calls from Pakistan to Afghanistan would send an actual physical virus that could cause users to get sick. Mostly, you just need to be worried about viruses that can make your cell phone sick. Installing antivirus programs seems sensible, especially if you want to keep smartphones healthy.
- Smartphones can be more susceptible to viruses than other mobile phones.
- Mobile phone viruses can be hidden in emoticon apps or other downloads