Cabir, a worm that infects smartphones running Series 60, has been slowly spreading around the world. Recently, the first infection was discovered in the United States.
At first glance, this worm doesn’t seem very dangerous. It doesn’t even spread itself over the wireless Internet. Instead, an infected smartphone will attempt to transfer the worm to other devices via Bluetooth.
It arrives as a SIS file (Symbian OS distribution file) in the user’s inbox. In order for the smartphone to become actually infected, the user must manually install the application, after ignoring a security warning that the creater of the application is unidentified.
Also, only phones that have their Bluetooth networking set to “discoverable” can be infected.
Nevertheless, Cabir has still managed to spread itself to at least 15 countries.
Virus protection firm F-Secure reports that this worm was found on several phones in a store in Santa Monica.
Cabir doesn’t do any damage to devices it infects. However, it does greatly reduce the infected smartphone’s battery life because Bluetooth is constantly in use as the worm attempts to find other Series 60 devices to infect.
Clearly, the easiest way to prevent infection from any of the variants of Cabir is to not keep Series 60 smartphones in discoverable mode.
Virus protection software can also prevent infection, and can also clean up a device that has already been infected.
In addition, F-Secure offers a free tool to remove Cabir. It can be found on F-Secure’s mobile web site, and can be installed directly to the phone.