First Ever Pocket Pc Virus Discovered, Sophos Says It Poses No Threat

Virus researchers at Sophos have reported the discovery over the weekend of the first ever virus to infect the Microsoft Pocket PC operating system.

The Duts virus (W32/Duts-A) is able to infect PDAs running the Pocket PC operating system, and was written by the 29A virus writing gang, the same group which claimed responsibility for writing the world’s first mobile phone virus, Cabir.

The Duts virus does not travel via email, and requires users to deliberate send it to other Pocket PC PDA owners. If the infected file is run it displays a message: “Dear User, am I allowed to spread?”. Only if the user agrees will it attempt to infect other executable programs on the user’s PDA.

“Duts is a ‘proof-of-concept’ virus, and will not spread in the wild. You’re more likely to have a meteorite strike your house than be hit by this virus,” said Carole Theriault, anti-virus consultant for Sophos. “Owners of PDAs running the Pocket PC operating system should not lose any sleep over this virus, although it might be a taste of things to come in the future.”

The virus contains two messages which do not get displayed:

“This is proof of concept code. Also, i wanted to make avers happy. The situation when Pocket PC antiviruses detect only EICAR file had to end …”
and

“This code arose from the dust of Permutation City”

Permutation City is a novel by science fiction author Greg Egan. Set in the year 2050, it features a character obsessed with artificial life who generates computer personalities (known as “Copies”) which attempt to escape their virtual world.

“This virus claims to be written by a virus writer with the pseudonym of Ratter from the 29A virus writing gang. If Ratter is ever investigated by the authorities it seems likely that he will prove to be a sci-fi fanatic,” continued Theriault.

More information about the Duts virus can be found at




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