Mobile VXer nailed in Spain

A 28 year old man from Valencia has been arrested by Spanish police on suspicion of being behind a number of mobile virus outbreaks.

It appears that he may be the entity otherwise known as “29a”, whose name shows up in the history of essentially all serious mobile malware.

He is accused of creating over 20 viruses, including the original Cabir worm, the first to attack Symbian OS gadgets and Commwarrior, the first mobile virus capable of spreading over wide area networks. The Spanish police claim that as many as 115,000 devices have been infected. Antivirus firm F-Secure Labs has recorded Commwarrior outbreaks in Russia, Finland, Brazil, and Hong Kong.

“Mobile phone viruses are not nearly as common as the malware that strikes Windows desktops on a regular basis, but they are just as illegal in their intent,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

“Viruses are not harmless pranks; they cause real harm disrupting business and personal communications as well as destroying and stealing sensitive data,” he added. “The computer crime authorities around the globe are becoming more experienced at tracking down hackers and virus writers, and given this latest arrest, malware authors should be asking themselves whether it’s really worth taking the risk.”

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