NEWS BRIEF

Virus Spreads to Handheld Computers

Viruses finally reached out and touched handheld computers Thursday with Symantec and Kaspersky Labs reporting a backdoor Trojan horse program that can take control of a mobile device.

The program, known as Backdoor.Brador.A, attacks PDAs running the Windows CE operating system. Once installed, the program activates when the PDA is restarted and begins to search for a remote administrator to take control of the machine.

In a security alert, Symantec calls Brador the first known Windows Mobile backdoor Trojan horse. The security firm says the program, like all backdoors, cannot spread by itself. Backdoors arrive as an e-mail attachment and must be downloaded from the Internet.

Kaspersky Labs said Brador was probably written by a Russian virus coder since it was attached to an e-mail with a Russian sender address and contained Russian text.

Symantec, which rated Brador’s threat containment and removal as “easy,” has updated its database to deal with the virus. Last month, Kaspersky Labs detected the first computer virus spreading via cell phone networks.

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