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Home --> Computers --> Virus Hoaxes & Realities --> Mobile Phone Virus

Mobile Phone Virus

Virus name:   Mobile Phone virus (aka ACE-? and UNAVAILABLE)

Status:   Hoax.

Examples:

[Collected on the Internet, 2002]

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays ACE-? on the screen DON'T ANSWER THIS CALL - END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU ANSWER THE CALL, YOUR PHONE WILL BE INFECTED BY THIS VIRUS.

This virus will erase all IMEI and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network.You will have to buy a new phone.

This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia.

There are over 3 million mobile phones being infected by this virus in USA now.

You can also check this news in the CNN web site.

Please forward this piece of information to all your friends.



[Collected on the Internet, 1999]

BEWARE!!!

Dear all mobile phone's owners,

ATTENTION!!!

NOW THERE IS A VIRUS ON MOBILE PHONE SYSTEM.
All mobile phone in DIGITAL system can be infected by this virus. If you receive a phone call and your phone display "UNAVAILABLE" on the screen (for most of digital mobile phones with a function to display in-coming call telephone number), DON'T ANSWER THE CALL. END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY!!! BECAUSE IF YOU ANSWER THE CALL, YOUR PHONE WILL BE INFECTED BY THIS VIRUS.

This virus will erase all IMIE and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You will have to buy a new phone.

This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia. For more information, please visit Motorola or Nokia web sites: http://www.mot.com or http://www.nokia.com. There are over 3 million mobile phone being infected by this virus in USA now. You can also check this news in CNN web site: http://www.cnn.com.

Please forward this information to all your friends who have digital mobile phones.

Origins:   This warning first appeared on the Internet in 1999, when it cautioned cell phone users to beware of answering calls from "UNAVAILABLE." In 2002 the hoax was revived for another run, that time cautioning mobile chatters against taking calls from "ACE-?". In 2005 it came back once again, in that instance to warn the cell-enabled to not accept calls from
XALAN.

There is no such threat. No mobile phone viruses capable of infecting cell phones and erasing SIM cards have yet been discovered.

Hoaxes often contain claims that authoritative sources have confirmed the substance of the warnings, and this one is no exception. It asserts that both Nokia and Motorola validate the information and that CNN has run at least one item about it, yet both Nokia and Motorola label this a hoax, and a search of CNN's site turns up no story about this "virus." It's a hoax all the way down.

In June 2000, an instance of a computer virus that affected cell phones was recorded, although this wasn't a case of a malevolent program inserted into the phones themselves; the cells were merely the final destination of the leg-pull. The "Timofonica" virus was designed to send prank messages to cell phones on the Telefonica cellular network, which operates in Spain. The virus worked like this: victims would receive it as an e-mail attachment on their home or work computers. When users opened the infected attachments, the virus, plus a message critical of Telefonica, would be sent to every e-mail address in their address books. The virus would also trigger the each victim's computer to send a text message to a randomly-selected cell phone on Telefonica's network.

Timofonica did not harm cell phones any more than a wrong number call damages any phone. However, as wireless technology grows more sophisticated, so does the risk that one of these days there really will be a real virus launched against cell phones, one that will force its way into units and do nasty little things to them once it's in there. There are also concerns that the rush to get new technology onto the market sometimes results in not nearly enough care being given to security issues.

Barbara "call waiting" Mikkelson

Additional Information:
  Cell Phone Hoax Cell Phone Hoax
(F-Secure)
  Mobile Phone Hoax ACE-? Mobile Phone Hoax
(McAfee Virus Information Library)
  Mobile Phone Hoax Unavailable Mobile Phone
(Sophos Anti-Virus for Business)
Last updated:   28 January 2008

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