Break the Chain Who Ya Callin' Unavailable?

Updated (4/9/2002) Is nothing sacred? First, viruses were attacking and disabling our computers via e-mail. Now, nefarious folks are destroying our cellular phones with a simple phone call? Don't throw away your night & weekend minutes just yet.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Important - All staff (who have a mobile phone) please read the following;

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays....

! ? UNAVAILABLE ! ?

....on the screen, (for most of digital mobile phones with a function to display in-coming call telephone number).

DON'T ANSWER THE CALL,.... END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY.

IF YOU ANSWER THE CALL, YOUR PHONE WILL BE INFECTED BY A VIRUS.

The Virus will erase all IMIE and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You will have to buy a new phone.

This information has so far been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia

There are over 3 million mobile phones which have been infected by this virus in USA now.

You can also check this news in the CNN website .

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

That was the version I got back in October, 2001. Compare it to another that was sent to me in January, 2002.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

SUBJECT: URGENT TO ALL MOBILE PHONE USER

Attention - Everyone With A Mobile Phone. This is not a joke. This is an early warning...

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays ACE-? on the screen (for most of digital mobile phones with a function to display in-coming call telephone number).

DO NOT ANSWER THE CALL - END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY.

OTHERWISE YOUR PHONE WILL BE INFECTED BY VIRUS.

This virus will erase all IMIE and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card, which will make disable your phone connection with the telephone network. You will have to buy a new phone.

This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia.

There are over 3 million mobile phones being infected by this virus in USA now.

You can also check this news in the CNN web site.

Please forward this piece of information to all your friends who have digital mobile phones.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Yet another version surfaced in April, 2002:

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

If you receive a phone call and your mobile phone displays CAMANCHO ? on the screen(for most of digital mobile phones with a function to display in-coming call telephone number).

DON'T ANSWER THE CALL - END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU ANSWER THE CALL, YOUR PHONE WILL BE INFECTED BY THIS VIRUS.

This virus will erase all IMIE and IMSI information from both your phone and your SIM card, which will make your phone unable to connect with the telephone network. You will have to buy a new phone.

This information has been confirmed by both Motorola and Nokia. There are over 3 million mobile phones being infected by this virus in USA now.

You can also check this news in the CNN web site. Please forward this piece of information to all your friends who have digital mobile phones.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Neither Nokia nor Motorola had a statement posted on their sites, so I contacted them. Here's the reply I got from Nokia:

"This is a hoax e-mail that has been going around for quite a while now. To date, no mobile phone viruses have been found, and in general, current mobile phones cannot receive a virus, since there is no interface from which viruses could be sent."

And from Motorola:

"The only virus that has been reported is one that involves text messages being sent to the phone. This is something that originated in Spain. This does NOT infect the actual phone. It only sends a text message to your phone and then randomly sends it out to other phones."

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Not surprisingly, a thorough search of cnn.com turned up nothing related to this chain, either.

Despite this chain's collection of convincing-looking acronyms, there is no such virus and your phone is safe. Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: Virus Warning
References: None

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