Sexy Space — world’s first SMS worm made in China

There is a silent but ever-present chip carried around on the shoulders of many in this country about the nation’s “what have you done for me lately” innovation sector. Sure, China is responsible for the compass, gunpowder, paper making and printing. However, a little over a thousand years ago, it hit a bit of a dry spell which it has only recently begun to pull itself out of.

And what a way to get back in the saddle–China has created the first-ever SMS worm:

Three Chinese companies–XiaMen Jinlonghuatian Technology, ShenZhen ChenGuangWuXian Technology, and XinZhongLi TianJin–created the “Sexy Space” worms or Yxe Worm (Worm:SymbOS/Yxe.D) and submitted to Symbian OS-based phones through the express signing procedure, said F-Secure Security Labs recently.

The clever little worm exploits Symbian’s express signing procedure, allowing an attacker to send out an SMS message with a link to the worm’s site, which once clicked will install itself on the device and send a similar SMS to everyone in the infected mobile’s phonebook.

And if you guessed that each of those infectious and insidious messages is going to eat into your phone credit, you are absolutely right.With very close to half of the world’s mobiles using Symbian OS, it’s no surprise that parallels are being drawn between the network-clogging potential of this worm and the self-propagating email viruses that attack a victim’s contacts list and fire off copies of itself to everyone and their Aunt Betty.

Potential targets of the Sexy Space worm include phones from Fujitsu, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Sharp and Sony Ericsson–all manufacturers that develop using the Symbian open-source platform. Fortunately, avoiding the worm is simple. Just as you no longer open emails with attachments such as “funpicsofyou.exe” (you don’t, right?), simply do not click on links if you’re not absolutely certain you know where they lead–no matter who the message is from.

Hopefully, with a bit of critical SMS usership, an improved signing procedure from Symbian and better antivirus software at the network level, this invention won’t mar the otherwise impressive list of items China has gifted to the world.

(h/t to Appfrica and Darknet)

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