Kaspersky Lab has released a beta version of mobile anti-virus software for Symbian phones. The company said that its Anti-Virus Mobile 2.0, can stop suspicious programs before they infect the phone and scan devices for malicious software.

Kaspersky said its software was equipped to blocked suspect SMS and MMS messages. The product uses a so-called "blacklist" to compare messages and block spam. The software can be set to download regular updates from Kaspersky Lab servers by WAP or HTTP.

Anti-Virus Mobile is compatible with phones using the Symbian 6.1, 7.0s, 8.0 or 8.1 OS versions and the Series 60 user interface.

The second beta version will support Symbian Series UIQ and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile versions 2003 and 5.0, Kaspersky said.

Interested users can sign up for beta testing. Active participants in the testing programme will receive free software upon commercial release, the company said.