The new Commwarrior worm combines Bluetooth and MMS to replicate. Separately, Microsoft updates its virus zapper to disinfect systems affected by the MSN Messenger worm.
Security researchers have spotted the first signs of a new cell-phone worm that uses multiple replication techniques to attack Symbian Series 60 devices.
The latest threat, identified as Commwarrior.A,
uses a combination of Bluetooth and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) to propagate, a sign that virus writers are becoming more sophisticated, according to a warning from F-Secure Corp.
MMS is a messaging service used to provide immediate delivery of personal multimedia messages from phone to phone or from phone to e-mail.
According to Mikko Hypponen, director of anti-virus research at F-Secure, the worm does not currently present a major threat.
"We have confirmation that the spreading over MMS messages works. However, there seems to be a significant delay between the MMS messages. As a result, Commwarrior will not spread rapidly like e-mail worms do," Hypponen said in an alert.
He also noted that when a device tries to install an application from an MMS message, the receiver has to be compatible with a Symbian series 60 phone for the worm to function. "As a result, Commwarriors MMS spread is not as dangerous as it could have been," Hypponen added.
The detection of Commwarrior follows a similar threat to Symbian smart-phone devices by multiple variants of the Cabir worm.
In recent months, Cabir has been used to drop Trojans and other malware on cell phones, confirming fears that mobile devices will become the next hunting ground for virus writers.
Separately, Microsoft Corp. has posted a new version of its malicious software removal tool
to zap several new virus threats against PC users.
Version 1.2 of the tool is now capable of detecting and removing known variants of Bagle, Sober, Sobig, Goweh and Bropia worms. Microsoft rates the threat for those worms as "moderate."
The addition of Bropia disinfection is significant, coming just days after researchers warned of an increasing chatter
of virus activity on Microsofts MSN Messenger network.
In recent days, anti-virus vendors have issued warnings for several new mutants of the known Bropia virus family, which has been squirming through the instant messaging client.
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