Vulnerability to viruses

As more complex features are added to phones, they become more vulnerable to viruses which exploit weaknesses in these features. Even text messages can be used in attacks by worms and viruses[citation needed]. Advanced phones capable of e-mail can be susceptible to viruses that can multiply by sending messages through a phone's address book[citation needed]. A virus may allow unauthorized users to access a phone to find passwords or corporate data stored on the device. Moreover, they can be used to commandeer the phone to make calls or send messages at the owner's expense[citation needed]. Mobile phones used to have proprietary operating system unique only to the manufacturer which had the beneficial effect of making it harder to design a mass attack. However, the rise of software platforms and operating systems shared by many manufacturers such as Java, Microsoft operating systems, Linux, or Symbian OS, may increase the spread of viruses in the future. Bluetooth is a feature now found in many higher-end phones, and the virus Caribe hijacked this function, making Bluetooth phones infect other Bluetooth phones running the Symbian OS. In early November 2004, several web sites began offering a specific piece of software promising ringtones and screensavers for certain phones. Tho e who downloaded the software found that it turned each icon on the phone's screen into a skull-and-crossbones and disabled their phones, so they could no longer send or receive text messages or access contact lists or calendars. The virus has since been dubbed "Skulls" by security experts. The Commwarrior-A virus was identified in March 2005, and it attempts to replicate itself through MMS to others on the phone's contact list. Like Cabir, Commwarrior-A also tries to communicate via Bluetooth wireless connections with other devices, which can eventually lead to draining the battery. The virus requires user intervention for propagation however. Bluetooth phones are also subject to bluejacking, which although not a virus, does allow for the transmission of unwanted messages from anonymous Bluetooth users. Bluejacking is the sending of unsolicited messages over Bluetooth to Bluetooth-enabled devices such as mobile phones, PDAs or laptop computers, sending a vCard which typically contains a message in the name field (i.e., for bluedating or bluechat) to another Bluetooth-enabled device via the OBEX protocol. Bluetooth has a very limited range, usually around 10 metres (32.8 ft) on mobile phones, but laptops can reach up to 100 metres (328 ft) with powerful (Class 1) transmitters.