Commwarrior virus hits South African mobiles

It looks like a mobile virus outbreak is again affecting Symbian-driven handsets, with the focus of this latest attack - initially at least - being on South Africa.

Reports from Johannesburg suggest that a variant of the Commwarrior virus has again started doing the rounds in South Africa, spreading via Bluetooth and/or MMS (picture) messages.

The virus sends itself to other mobiles via Bluetooth. The receiver will then see a message asking whether Commwarrior should be installed.

If the user answer `yes,' the virus installs itself and immediately starts duplicating through MMS messages to people who's numbers appear in the infected mobile's phonebook.

According to some reports, the virus also uses the Bluetooth connection to start looking for other phones in the vicinity.

The MMS messages are sent in a number of guises, generally claiming that the MMS contains support programs, a game, ringtone or good ol' prOn.

The bad news is that, once the virus is installed on the mobile, it keeps sending messages and can rack up a large bill for the owner.

Vodacom, the Vodafone variant in South Africa, says the virus is not particularly widespread, but is causing problems. The carrier is offering punters a free mobile clean-up at their nearest Vodacom centre.

Vodacom is also pointing out that a 30-day trial of AV software for Symbian mobiles can be downloaded from www.f-secure.com...