Mobile viruses yet to travel Down Under

Despite the worldwide attention given to the threat of virus infection on mobile phones little has actually happened in Australia - even the antivirus vendors are currently labelling them as 'proof of concept'.

Last week Finnish Internet security vendor F-Secure released an alert stating the Cabir virus had been discovered in 20 different countries around the world (Cabir is expected to be the largest of some 50 different mobile phone-based viruses). But the trove of viruses propagating through Bluetooth-enabled portable gear has largely missed Australia.

The antivirus vendors are even playing down the presence of mobile phone viruses in Australia; however, in the same breath they note that it is still important to be secured against such a threat. Many agree that the current 'opt-in' design is limiting their spread.

Sophos Australia senior technology consultant Sean Richmond said malicious code is popping up in phones because users download ringtones from unscrupulous Web sites where the tones cost less - not because the virus is being 'imported' into the country.

Richmond added that apart from the disguised ringtones, a lot of the worms or Trojan malware are passed on as antivirus programs.

In August last year the first Cabir infections were noted in the Phillippines and since then reported to have popped up in 12 other countries including Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, China, India and the US.

Trend Micro security expert Adam Biviano agrees Cabir is a proof of concept virus.

"I don't think Cabir has had any local [Australian] infections as yet - it is more a proof of concept virus but phones are evolving in a similar fashion to PCs in terms of sophistication and vulnerabilities - at this stage of the game the viruses are not cross-platform," Biviano said.

"[Spread of the virus] is protected by the limited function of the phone - if the power of the phones double every two years then there will be a day when cross-pollination will occur.

"One impact now from MMS-relayed viruses is that it impacts the user from the hip pocket because if you are infected and spinning out MMS messages you would get a big bill at the end of the month - if you take a step back and look at the motives for malware on a PC, 70 percent of them are driven by profit. If this equates to mobile phones then the driver for profit is to get the phone to dial a premium number service like an international or 1900 number."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Crawford

Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?