The Palm platform has been hit with its first true virus. Dubbed Phage, after a germ-ridden bunch of aliens in Star Trek: Voyager, the virus infects Palm-based applications.
Time to panic? Probably not. True, it's only a couple of weeks since the first Palm infection emerged - a Trojan Horse data-killer released onto the Net inadvertently - but Phage's potential for serious damage seems slim. It attaches itself to a Palm device's applications, but leaves data intact, according to Finland-based anti-virus operation F-Secure, cited by Reuters.
F-Secure reckons the virus can be spread through Palm-to-Palm infra-red links, but at least the virus can be eliminated by restoring unaffected apps from a PC-based back-up.
Still, while Phage may not be too nasty, it shows the potential for rather more horrific infections. The anti-virus guys will, of course, love this - it's a whole new market after all - and are already hard at work on Palm-oriented disinfection products.
And issuing panic-inducing statements aimed at scaring Palm users.
For example, F-Secure manager Mikko Hypponen was quick to tell an eager Reuters that it's only a matter of time before a virus as dangerous as Love Bug, which zapped numerous corporate email systems earlier this year, appears on the Palm.
"No doubt [virus writers] are already sharing the source code for this virus," he said. ®