Antivirus company Sophos’s virus researchers reported the first ever virus to infect the Microsoft Pocket PC operating system.
The Duts virus (W32/Duts-A) is able to infect PDAs running the Pocket PC operating system, and it was reportedly written by the 29A virus writing gang.
This is the same group that claimed responsibility for writing the world’s first mobile phone virus, Cabir.
This Pocket PC virus does not travel via e-mail, and also requires users to send it deliberately to other Pocket PC PDA users.
‘Am I Allowed To Spread?’
The infected file displays a message if it is run: “Dear User, am I allowed to spread?”
The virus will attempt to spread and infect other PDAs only if the user agrees.
According to Sophos, Duts is a ‘proof-of-concept’ virus, and will not spread in the wild.
The virus code reportedly also contains two additional messages that are not displayed when it is run.
The first one is “This is proof of concept code. Also, i wanted to make avers happy. The situation when Pocket PC antiviruses detect only EICAR file had to end…”.
The other message is reportedly “This code arose from the dust of Permutation City.”
In a novel by the science fiction writer Greg Egan, with the title Permutation City, set in the year 2050, a character obsessed with artificial life is featured.
This character generates computer personalities — known as “Copies” — which try to escape the virtual world they live in.
According to Carole Theriault at Sophos, the virus claims to be written by a virus writer with the pseudonym “Ratter” from the 29A virus writing gang.
Theriault thinks that if Ratter is ever investigated by the authorities, it is likely that he will turn out to be a sci-fi fanatic.