Analysis of the CommWarrior mobile phone virus has revealed that the infection is not spreading rapidly because of coding flaws in its design.
Researchers at F-Secure who have been analysing the code reported today that, while the infection does send itself on to other phones using the multimedia messaging service (MMS), it does so very slowly, leaving a time delay of anything from 15 minutes to several hours between propagation attempts.
"This thing has been out since January and if it operated at peak efficiency we would all have had it by now," said Mikko Hypponen, head of F-Secure's laboratory.
"Another factor holding it back is the relatively low number of people using MMS. Here in Finland most people get MMS as standard, but that's not the case for most of the rest of the world."
The virus is also capable of spreading via Bluetooth to other mobile phones. Once on a mobile and activated the virus displays the text 'OTMOP03KAM HET!'. This is Russian and means roughly 'No to braindeads'.
The first ever mobile phone virus, proof of concept code called Cabir, also originated in Russia. It was thought to be the work of the 29a hacking group, well known for writing proof of concept viruses with no harmful payloads.
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