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Alleged mobile virus writer arrested in Spain

A man accused of creating and spreading a mobile phone virus has been arrested by police in Spain, according to reports.

The 28-year-old, not identified by authorities, was arrested in Valencia following a seven-month investigation by Spanish authorities. He is accused of writing and distributing more than 20 different versions of the Cabir and Commwarrior worms, which can infect mobile phones running the Symbian operating system.

As many as 115,000 mobile phones may have been struck by the malware, according to Spanish police.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said today that the arrest could make other virus-writers think about a career change.

"Mobile phone viruses are not nearly as common as the malware that strikes Windows desktops on a regular basis, but they are just as illegal in their intent," he said. "Viruses are not harmless pranks; they cause real harm disrupting business and personal communications as well as destroying and stealing sensitive data. The computer crime authorities around the globe are becoming more experienced at tracking down hackers and virus writers, and given this latest arrest, malware authors should be asking themselves whether it's really worth taking the risk."

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