A company that produces antivirus software for computers says it has discovered the world's first virus that targets the increasingly popular wireless hand-held computers.
Although computer viruses have become common, including last spring's virulent "Love Bug" virus, reports of viruses infecting the smaller personal digital assistants, or PDAs, had previously proved unfounded.
This time, however, "this is not a false alarm," said Vincent Gullotto, director of McAfee.com's Anti Virus Emergency Response Team in Beaverton, which found the virus Thursday night.
The so-called Palm OS/Phange virus did not appear widespread, Gullotto said. "Right now, I don't think it's a big threat," he said.
Palm OS is the operating system used by roughly 79 percent of the world's hand-held computers. It has wireless technology that can connect to the Internet or to networks.
The virus fills the PDA's screen with a dark gray box. The PDA can be repaired simply by shutting it off and turning it on again, and the virus is easily wiped out by deleting any file called Phange.prc.
PDAs, no bigger than a paperback book and no thicker than a checkbook, are growing in popularity with business people for carrying lists of customers and contacts, and also are gaining in popularity for wireless connections to the Internet.
Another program affecting PDAs was discovered earlier this month in Sweden. Liberty appears to be a game but can erase programs stored in an PDA. Such "Trojan horses" do not spread by attaching themselves to other programs, the way viruses such as Palm OS/Phange do.
"It was perhaps only a matter of time before this happened," said Jesse Rothman, director of marketing with Oregon Scientific, which makes a competing line of PDAs that do not use the Palm OS and are not affected by the virus.
September 11th, 2002, 05:22 PM
I was wondering when this was going to happen. I figured it was only a matter of time. Maybe this will help boost the market for Network Security Professionals even more. I am interested in learning more about Wireless Security. Maybe I will have to look into that.
September 11th, 2002, 05:38 PM
I guess it just goes to show what a lot of us already knew - no device with an operating system, whether it be a PDA, a desktop PC, server, etc, is safe from viral attacks. It's like the article says, it was only a matter of time. This will continue on into the future, because there is always going to be someone who will work on the 'darkside' so to speak, creating viruses and such.
August 25th, 2003, 02:03 PM
There all ready is a txt viruse out its a french progy
August 25th, 2003, 02:09 PM
Your about a year late mate :P
August 25th, 2003, 04:38 PM
I also think the problem will spread to the new "intelligent" mobile telephones, as phone technology and PDAs get closer?
I have heard tell of "SMS bombs" already in the wild, but they are just crude "nuking" attacks, because they are limited by the 160 or less characters that these devices support?
I am just mentioning this because people generally turn PDAs off to conserve battery life, whereas mobile phones are "always on".............they might be the new platform for DDoS attacks?
August 25th, 2003, 09:59 PM
we need to think about wireless device's security seriously...now days wireless is how much protected everyone knows about it...
any how we have a new domain in securities to deal with... it wont be late before we see more form of attacks coming on wireless devices....
August 25th, 2003, 10:40 PM
the new frontier
August 25th, 2003, 10:57 PM
How'd he get banned? He had legions of Leprechcauns
August 26th, 2003, 01:37 AM
could of bean by language he used in an other post may be??