Phone viruses widespread in two years

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Mobile phone viruses will become rife within two years, according to an industry expert.

Speaking at anti-virus firm Kaspersky's annual press conference in Moscow, Marc Blanchard, director of Kaspersky's European anti-virus centre, claimed that the recent proof of concept mobile viruses would soon become a real threat.

"I think two years is a good estimate," said Blanchard. "Cabir has proved that the opportunity is there when enough people are using technology that can distribute the virus."

"Forums and groups are becoming more powerful through cooperation. They will target mobile phones in the future and code will be quickly developed," Blanchard added.

The Cabir virus is the first example of malicious code showing any kind of spread across mobile phone networks. It sends itself via automated Bluetooth connections but despite recent changes (Scandinavian anti-virus firm F-Secure announced variants C and D late last week) is yet to cause any major devastation.

Recipients of the virus will find it announces itself as "Caribe" and requires a significant amount of user-participation to actually install itself on the phone.

Kaspersky renamed the virus Cabir in honour of one of the firm's staff members who has that surname. "She received a lot of telephone calls the next day," said Eugene Kaspersky, head of the company's anti-virus research.

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