The Month: Most effective mobile malware to date

Researchers have found some of the most effective mobile malware to date: a family of Trojans that steal money directly from smartphone users.

The Viver family of Trojan horses targets Symbian phones and, onceinstalled, sends premium SMS messages to a Russian mobile provider. Eachmessage costs the user around £3.

The first mobile Trojans of this type were RedBrowser and Wesber, butthey were Java-based, required user interaction and didn't haveinternational dialling codes included, so only functioned in Russia.Viver has addressed these issues and has been distributed to thousandsof mobile users via file-sharing sites, according to securityexperts.

Aleks Gostev, senior virus analyst at Kasperksky Lab, warned that theproblem was likely to spread: "If there's money to be made, viruswriters won't be slow to take up the opportunity."

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