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Mobile Phone Virus Hoax

Summary:
Forwarded messages claim that a destructive virus will infect your mobile (cell) phone if you receive a call that displays "ACE" or "XALAN" on the screen (Full commentary below.)



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, 2004, 2005)
Subject: FW: URGENT message for mobile phone users!!!

URGENT message for mobile phone users!!!Please be careful and mindful! All mobile users pay attention if you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays ( ACE ) on the screen don't answer the call. END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY if you answer the call, your phone will be infected by a 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.


All mobile users pay attention!!!!!!!!!

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays(XALAN)on the screen don't answer the call, END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY,if you answer the call,your phone will be infected by a 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 all around the world now. You can also check this news in the CNN web site.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS PIECE OF INFORMATION TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS HAVING A MOBILE PHONE.




Commentary:
Variants of this hoax have been circulating since 1999. The information in the email is completely untrue and has certainly not been "confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia". If a virus had really destroyed the mobile phones of 3 million US users it would be a major news story around the world. There is nothing on the CNN site about this virus nor does a search of Google News reveal any articles that confirm the story.

However, there are legitimate news articles about a real mobile phone virus that was discovered back in June 2004. This worm, dubbed "Cabir" is basically a "proof of concept" virus and does little damage. Vnunet.com reports that the first outbreak of this virus "in the wild" occurred in Singapore in early October. Although Cabir is virtually harmless, it does indicate that mobile phone virus attacks are possible and may become a significant threat in the future. News of Cabir may also be giving new life to this old mobile phone virus hoax.While mobile phone viruses are real, experts maintain that the potential threat of such viruses has been exaggerated.

In any case, the information included in these emails is false and the "warnings" should be deleted without forwarding. Any "virus warnings" received via a forwarded email should not be taken at face value. Always take the time to confirm the information at a reputable anti-virus website.

An older version of the hoax:
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. Formore 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


References:
http://www.f-secure.com/hoaxes/cf_virus.shtml
http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/mobile-phone-hoax.html
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/39291.html

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen