February 28, 2006 6:50 PM PST

Virus makes leap from PC to PDA

A group of security researchers claims to have found the first virus that can jump to a mobile device after infecting a PC.

The malicious software, dubbed "Crossover," was sent anonymously to the Mobile Antivirus Researchers Association, the group said in a statement released on Monday. The virus is a proof-of-concept bug and was not released in the wild, meaning that it doesn't pose an actual risk for PC and device users.

"Crossover is the first malware to be able to infect both a Windows desktop computer as well as a PDA running Windows Mobile for Pocket PC," the research group said.

When executed, the virus checks what type of machine it is running on. If it is a Windows PC, it will jump to a handheld device as soon as it detects a connection using Microsoft's ActiveSync synchronization software. When running on a portable OS, it will erase all the files in the "My Documents" folder and copy itself to the startup folder.

The virus could also hurt the performance of the Windows PC because it re-creates itself each time the PC is started. This can mean a user will end up running so many copies that it bogs down the PC.

Malicious software already was able to jump from a smart phone to a PC. Security firm F-Secure last September found a Trojan horse that attempts to spread from smart phones to users' PCs, marking one of the first cases of virus "cross-sharing" between the two devices.

The Mobile Antivirus Researchers Association said it will make detailed analysis and the "Crossover" virus file available to antivirus companies and select security experts. F-Secure said Tuesday on its blog that it hasn't seen a sample of Crossover yet.

See more CNET content tagged:
F-Secure Corp., malicious software, Windows PC, researcher, virus

14 comments

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Ha hah!
See? All you people who thought that your handheld PCs would be
virus free, wipe those smug mac-user-like smiles off your faces
and start to panic. Your platform will increasingly become a target
for virus writers and worse, your machines can now be infected by
the pantheon of windows viruses that will be quickly hacked to
transmit themselves to your handheld.

Or you could just ignore another "proof-of-concept" story from
CNET on a slow news day.
Posted by privatec (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HAHAHAHAAH
well, didnt macs just have a virus?
that is why im a linux guy. i only go windows for gaming. no one will write a virus for the platform that they use themselves.
Posted by duke12aw (24 comments )
Link Flag
Ha hah!
See? All you people who thought that your handheld PCs would be
virus free, wipe those smug mac-user-like smiles off your faces
and start to panic. Your platform will increasingly become a target
for virus writers and worse, your machines can now be infected by
the pantheon of windows viruses that will be quickly hacked to
transmit themselves to your handheld.

Or you could just ignore another "proof-of-concept" story from
CNET on a slow news day.
Posted by privatec (75 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HAHAHAHAAH
well, didnt macs just have a virus?
that is why im a linux guy. i only go windows for gaming. no one will write a virus for the platform that they use themselves.
Posted by duke12aw (24 comments )
Link Flag
Wow...
Who would think to make a virus for a PDA. My new smartphone should be at my door tomorow. Can't wait. Anyhow, it's a pretty dumb idea, nothing thats really important that I'll have one it, whatever is important will be copied to an external drive.
Posted by technick² (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow...
Who would think to make a virus for a PDA. My new smartphone should be at my door tomorow. Can't wait. Anyhow, it's a pretty dumb idea, nothing thats really important that I'll have one it, whatever is important will be copied to an external drive.
Posted by technick² (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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