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SimWorks Anti-virus for Symbian review
Posted on 17-Jul-2004 15:58 by M Freitas. | Tags Filed under: Reviews.

SimWorks Anti-virus for Symbian review
The anti-virus software from kiwi company SimWorks is one of the first targeting the Symbian platform. With the CABIR worm proving that a mobile virus is a possibility, it seems natural that this type of software make its way to the mobile space.

The CABIR is more like a proof of concept worm for Symbian devices. It requires active participation of the user to install the application, that comes disguised as a "Caribe Security Manager". Once the .sis file is installed on a Symbian smart phone, the program will use the Bluetooth connections to replicate itself to another phone nearby. Again, the user on this next smart phone needs to explicitly install the application.

It seems that this worm does not perform any other malicious actions, but it's not hard to imagine a program that short messages to premium SMS numbers. Actually, I've seen in our boards a reference to a cracked version of a game called Mosquito, that does exactly this. In this case the cracked program is a trojan horse program.

SimWorks Anti-Virus is installed on your device, which means that it can keep an eye on installed programs and currently running programs. According to SimWorks, the program does have an heuristic approach and look for virus-like activities. But based on the reduced number of samples available it's not yet determined if this is the best way of dealing with malware on this platform.

But this program targets more than one virus. The program does have a definitions database, and it can be updated with new definitions targeting new virus, when they appear. Currently updates must be downloaded from the developer's website, but I was told that future versions may include the capability to download the definitions database over the air. While this is not available, users who register will receive an e-mail telling them of updates. Since registration is not required, there's also the option of visiting SimWorks' website and check for updates.

After installation the program is started every time the phone is turned on. At this moment a scan will occur, and then every time that the user manually starts a scan, or on the schedule determined by the user. If a virus is found, a message will be displayed, and the offending file removed. I've tested this with a CABIR like file containing the virus signature, and it worked as promissed. Currently the SimWorks SAV does not provide an EICAR test signature, but it seems the developers are looking into this.

Easy to use interface

Settings the schedule

Other than this the program is really easy to use. So simple, that users must be aware that there'll be nothing indicating it's running, except when the user side interface is started and presents the last scan date/time and the next scheduled scan.

SimWorks Anti-Virus is compatible with all phones using the Symbian operating system such as the 127963 UIQ (SonyEricsson P800/P900/P910) and 127965 Series 60 (Nokia 3650, Nokia 6600, Sendo X).

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