There’s a new worm (malicious code) going around infecting mobile phones that use the Symbian system (see below for a list of phones). There are two variants called the Beselo.A and Beselo.B worms.
It gets transmitted by Bluetooth or by MMS so you can’t really avoid receiving it. It consists of two parts:
- An attachment with an interesting name, such as beauty.jpg, sex.mp3, or love.rm
- A text message asking you to “install” the attachment to view it
With MMS messages it’s not necessary to “install” anything to view a picture or to play an audio attachment. What’s really happening is there’s no picture or audio file attached, it’s a malicious program. The wording of the message is just a trick to install the worm (a technique known as social engineering). If it were really a picture you’d be able to see it without installing anything, and likewise for audio attachments.
If you receive a message asking you to install something and it promises to show you a picture or play an audio file, say no. Delete the message.
F-Secure make an antivirus package specifically for phones that use Symbian, and that would detect the file. But common sense and the explanation above should be sufficient to avoid it.
Below are some of today’s popular phones that use Symbian S60. If your phone is on this list then it’s vulnerable to this attack.
- LG – JoY
- Nokia – 3250, 5500 Sport, 5700, 6110 Navigator, 6260, 6290, 6600, 6630, 6680, 6682, E50, E51, E60, E61, E61i, E65, E70, E90, N70, N72, N73, N75, N76, N80, N81, N90, N91, N92, N93i, N93, N95, N95 8GB, N82, N81 8GB, 6120, N77
- Nokia (discontinued) – 6681, 6670, 3230, 7610, 3650, 3600, 3660, 3620, 7650, N-Gage, 6620
- Panasonic – X800, X700
- Samsung – SGH-D720, SGH-D730, SGH-i450, SGH-i520, SGH-i550, SGH-i560
- Sendo – X
- Siemens – SX1
With apologies to all those who conduct legitimate activties on the following sites I’d like to warn you on the current trend of malicious sites.
At the moment a lot of sites hosted on Geocities contain various bits of malware. So if you see a link anywhere (in an email, in a chat window, on another web page) that begins with geocities.com be very suspicious.
And secondly there’s been so much malware coming from Chinese web sites. So be cautious of any link that has .cn in the address.
“In order to view the photos a plug-in must be installed.”
These dreadful words have been appearing in some spam emails, in Dutch. And on top of that the emails, at first glance, appear to be a legitimate news article. Interested readers might be tempted to click on the link, install the suggested plug-in, and hope to view photos of whatever the email is about.
You should never install anything an unsolicited email tells you to. You shouldn’t have to install anything to view photos. These particular spam emails will provide a link to a file called iPIX-install.exewhich is in fact a trojan that spies on your computer.
Another point worth mentioning is that spam and malicious emails are now being sent in languages other than English in the hope of catching out people who live in non English speaking countries (by trying to win their trust).
Here’s a new vulnerability in Apple’s QuickTime program, discovered just recently (and published today). A computer can become vulnerable if the following events happen:
- You have Quicktime version 7.x installed (any version beginning with 7.)
- Your computer uses Windows XP or Windows Vista
- You use FireFox for web browsing (IE 6, 7, and Safari are safe from this vulnerability for the now)
- QuickTime is your default media player
- You visit a site hosting a malicious video file that takes advantage of this exploit.
Chances are you don’t meet all of the above criteria, but since there are so many computers on the internet now there would still be a large number of people who do.
The damage from this could be anything for now. Since the exploit has been published malicious hackers all over the world are probably busy writing viruses and trojans to take advantage of it.
So when Apple releases an update be sure to install it. And if you use a good antivirus package it won’t be long until they release a new update (this is why it’s important to keep your antivirus program updated).
Details have been published here.
There has been a rise in malicious emails (emails carrying malicious attachments) that are aimed at individuals. These emails are customised for the recipients with details such as their name and official title.
Two recent occurrences appear to be from the US Department of Justice, and from the Better Business Bureau. They have been sent to customers of financial institutions, indicating that email addresses were stolen and the information used to make the emails appear more convincing.
What makes these appear obviously malicious is that the first (from the US Department of Justice) carries an attachment with a file extension of .scr. These type of files are Windows screen savers, something that should immediately appear out of the ordinary. If you open the attachment it will install a trojan allowing malicious hackers to later take control of your computer.
The second one (from the Better Business Bureau) contains an infected PDF file. This is unfortunate because traditionally PDF files were considered safe from viruses, but lately it’s been proven that even PDF files can carry viruses and trojans. ( A PDF file is an attached document). Keep in mind that these emails have been tampered with to make them appear to be from the relevant senders. In fact they aren’t.
The best defence against these types of targeted attacks is to use a good antivirus program on your computer with the following features:
- It must scan emails
- It must be updated daily
It can be very difficult to pick out these malicious emails unless you have something scanning them for you.
These type of targeted email attacks have been increasing in frequency. Up to 10 new (unique) attacks have been discovered every day. This is a rather large number. Be very careful with suspicious looking emails.