Nik's Technology Blog

Travels through programming, networks, and computers

Symbian OS Bluetooth Security Patch

Since the Cabir virus, which affects various Symbian-based mobile phones, was created as a proof-of-concept earlier this year a Brazilian programmer has decided to publish the source code for two variants of the virus named Cabir-H and Cabir-I. This has caused a stir since it will no doubt cause more malicious variants of the virus when it falls into the wrong hands.

Patches Anyone?

As yet there have not been any reports of the Cabir virus in the wild, however the question I'm asking myself is why haven't the phone companies or anti-virus companies released patches for the virus?

Surely now would be the ideal opportunity to begin to put in place a system to protect the public, the majority of whom will not be aware of any such virus or the potential harm it could do to their phone.

The only advise we seem to be getting is precautionary, but how many people still open email attachments from people they don't know? Precautionary measures don't work, we've obviously forgotten the lessons we learnt from the PC virus epidemics of the not-so-distant past.

I think the lack of any such support by the phone manufacturers, OS software companies and anti-virus firms is due to no one taking ownership of the problem, which if left unresolved could balloon into a major problem in the very near future.

I'll end with the precautionary advise given so far.

All variants of the Cabir virus spread via bluetooth short-range wireless technology. To be completely safe from the virus all you need to do is turn off your bluetooth connection. This however is obviously counter-productive, so when you want to use your bluetooth connection for a headset or to sync with your PC etc, then you should set your handset to 'hidden' mode, this will make your device hidden from any other device in range.

Currently the Cabir virus has to be installed on the phone, which means the user will have to physically intervene allow the software to install by selecting 'yes' to install option upon receiving the virus, the last piece of advise then is to avoid installing software from unknown sources, especially other bluetooth devices, but more-so from future software containing Trojans based on Cabir and it's variants.

Comments are closed