The first mobile phone virus that spreads using the popular Mobile Messaging Service (MMS) is circulating among Symbian Series 60 mobile phones, anti-virus companies have warned.

The new virus, dubbed CommWarrior.A, was first spotted yesterday. When opened, it places copies of itself on vulnerable mobile phones and uses the phone's address book to send copies of itself to the owner's contacts using MMS.

Anti-virus experts believe CommWarrior, which has been spreading slowly among mobile users since January, is not a serious threat. However, the virus could herald a new age of malicious and fast-spreading cell phone threats, according to Mikko Hypp"nen of F-Secure.

MMS is a popular text messaging technology closely related to SMS but allows you to send multi-media content such as sound files or photos between compliant phones. "My kids use it all the time to send messages, or photos," said Hypp"nen, who lives in Helsinki.

Victims receive MMS messages with file attachments that contain the CommWarrior virus. The messages contain enticing messages such as "3DGame from me. it is FREE!" and "Nokia RingtoneManager for all models," F-Secure said. CommWarrior can also spread between phones using Bluetooth.

Those who do get infected with CommWarrior can easily shut the virus down by pressing and holding the menu button on their cell phone, then selecting the CommWarrior from the list of applications that appears and pressing the "C," or "Clear" button, said Victor Kouznetsov, senior VP of mobile solutions at McAfee..
Once the virus is disabled, mobile phone owners can use file management tools on the phone to locate and remove the virus files. F-Secure and McAfee both posted bulletins listing the folders where the CommWarrior virus is installed on infected phones.