Friday, August 12, 2005

Phone virus outbreak at Helsinki games

Visitors to the World Athletics Championships in Finland have had to brave wind and rain, and now officials say they face the possibility of catching the world's first mobile phone virus. Officials in mobile-mad Finland, home to the world's largest cell phone maker, Nokia Corp., said there had been outbreaks of the Cabir virus at Helsinki's Olympic Stadium. "At most we are speaking about dozens of infections, but during a short period and in one spot, this is a huge number,"

Cabir, first reported in June 2004 (see "Antivirus firm says it has detected first mobile-phone worm"), uses Bluetooth short-range wireless signals to jump between cell phones. That means it can spread over distances of up to 30 feet, which in a packed stadium could include dozens of phones. Since it was invented, the virus has so far spread to more than 20 countries, from the U.S. to Japan and from Finland to South Africa.Cabir drains the power of an infected phone as it tries to replicate itself on nearby mobiles, but the most damaging viruses could disable the unit entirely, requiring a factory reset.

See also First mobile phone virus site launched and Major Smartphone worm by 2007
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