Metal Gear Trojan horse attacks smart phones

The &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Trojan horse combines several malicious mobile phone programs that work to spread over Symbian-based phones, antivirus-software maker SimWorks said in a release published Tuesday.

The program, camouflaged as a version of the game "Metal Gear Solid," will disable antivirus programs, including SimWorks, as well as other programs, the company said. The attack also installs a version of the Cabir virus, which spreads through the Bluetooth short-range wireless protocol, the firm said, reports ZD Net News.

According to the eWeek, a new Trojan horse disguised as a video game that appeared this week is unlikely to spread or to cause much damage, but that's not its real threat. Instead, the MetalGear.A Trojan should be considered a "proof of concept" for what will eventually bring a series of attacks that could cause serious damage to &to=http:// ' target=_blank>smart phones.

This week's attack, like other recent attacks against smart phones, was aimed at devices using the Symbian operating system. The Trojan is designed to disable some forms of anti-virus protection, and to install a virus that spreads using Bluetooth. Similar attacks earlier this year were unsuccessful.

"The threat of a Bluetooth-based attack is orders of magnitudes lower than a PC-based attack," said Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "It's proximity-based."

In the near future, Weafer expects to see smartphone infections that mimic human vectors, not the network-cruising threats that typically cause such a ruckus on Net-connected PCs and servers, like 2003's MSBlast or 2004's Sasser.

"What's unusual now is that most [smartphone] infections are caused by airplanes, just as something like SARS was," he said. Like a real-world human virus, today's phone worms spread because people criss-cross the globe. In this case they bring their infected devices, not infectious diseases, with them. And those infected phones, when used to conduct e-commerce, will be at risk of exploitation for financial gain, just as PC users have been subjected to a massive increase in for-profit scams like phishing and spyware attacks.

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