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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

SMS Malware Targets Nokia S60 Mobiles

Curse of Silence worm enters your phone in the form of a simple text message and stops incoming SMSes
A new SMS worm that targets certain Series 60 third edition devices has been detected. Before you start panicking, don't worry, there is a fix.

The "Curse of Silence" worm comes to your inbox in the form of a simple text message and then goes ahead to ensure that you don't receive any further SMSes. The worm affects Series 60 third edition handsets and some UIQ based handsets running (S 60) versions 2.6, 2.8, 3.0, and 3.1. The worm was first detected towards the end of last year, and has been listed by F-Secure as a threat. While some may term it as a virus, the notable thing is that it makes use of a security hole in S60 to execute its attack.

The attack begins with the target phone receiving an "infected" SMS. The behavior of the worm after this differs from device to device. While some older devices stop receiving SMS/MMS right after the first SMS is received, some others require quite a few messages before going kaput. The device, once affected, displays a message saying that the message memory is full and that there is no space remaining for more messages. Till now, the only way for a phone to recover from such an attack was a factory reset.

Nokia has, however, released a fix called the SMS cleaner, which apparently fixes the hole. F-Secure has further details on the worm. Check it out here.

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