The Timofonica virus hijacks Microsoft Outlook e-mail systems on computers and sends a Short Messaging Service (SMS) text message to customers of the Spanish phone company Telefonica.
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The virus, which comes as a VBS attachment to an e-mail with the subject "Timofonica", enters a randomly generated number at the correo.movistar.net Web site, which is designed as a gateway to allow Internet users to send text messages to customers of Telefonica's Movistar mobile network. It then calls one number for every e-mail address in the users' Outlook address book.
The e-mail and text messages contain a political statement describing Spanish telephone operator Telefonica as a monopoly.
Although the SMS messages do not cause any damage, the VBS attachment does have a payload that harms PCs and sends e-mails to every address in the Outlook address book.
Jos White, marketing director at virus control company MessageLabs, said, "SMS will never carry a massive virus threat as it is only text and does not carry executable code. But it does expose the vulnerability of mobile networks to virus attacks."