A Brazilian virus writer has unleashed a new mobile phone virus, called Lasco.A, that is capable of spreading both through the short-range wireless Bluetooth technology and by attaching itself to files, according to the Finnish antivirus company F-Secure.
"This is the first time we have come across a mobile phone virus that has two spreading mechanisms," says Mikko Hypp
The virus affects mobile phones running the Symbian operating system with Nokia's Series 60 interface.
The Lasco.A virus will copy itself inside all SIS (Symbian Installation System) files, which are used to install applications, such as games, according to Hypp
Users can catch the virus unknowingly by swapping files, such as games, among themselves, according to Hypp
Crawling Like a Worm
The malware also acts like a worm by scanning Bluetooth-enabled phones in the vicinity and attempting to pass on the corrupt file to others, according to Hypp
Unlike the Skulls Trojan horse, which displays skulls on displays of infected phones, Lasco.A gives few signs that phones are infected. "Short battery life is probably the most evident indicator," Hypp
So far, Lasco.A is proof-of-concept virus only, according to Hypp
To protect their handsets, users should set them to hidden Bluetooth mode, and not discoverable mode, F-Secure recommends on its Web site.