"Can you hear me now?" That annoying Verizon (NYSE:VZ) advertisement may take on a new meaning in coming months.

Panda Software is reporting the first computer worm to infect a cell phone. That's right. Those expensive cell phones, with all the features, now come with a worry -- security. If small screens and too many features to learn were not enough, now outside forces could make your phone as big a nuisance as, say, your personal computer (PC).

Your standard cell phone is not open to a worm (a computer virus that can duplicate itself). But smartphones from Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Siemens (NYSE:SI), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY), and Sony (NYSE:SNE) are because they use a common operating system from Symbian (a company jointly owned by these companies and others).

Hackers have been attacking Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows operating system, which dominates the PC world, for years. Reality is, a big target attracts attention. Symbian's operating system dominates smartphones -- a rapidly growing market that is, obviously, becoming a big target.

The first worm is not destructive, just annoying. It shortens battery life (please, not that!) by constantly searching for Bluetooth wireless devices.

What the first worm does is notify the hacker community that smartphones are vulnerable. If they take the bait, many of the security concerns that plague PCs will plague smartphones. Yikes! High-margin smartphones might find mass appeal hard to achieve.

Symbian is prepared for security problems. For example, since 2002, it has had an agreement with software security firm Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC). Now that a worm has arrived, can product announcements be far behind?

While today's problem is wormy, Nokia is probably still happy with its offer to buy a majority interest in Symbian. Microsoft has proven there is gold in operating systems -- even with worms in the world.

Want a closer look at Nokia? Here is a duel that word-master Seth Jason and I did recently.

Spend time talking to other investors about Nokia, or just discussing Cell Phones, at The Motley Fool discussion boards.

Contributor W.D. Crotty owns stock in Verizon. While gathering data for this story, W.D. Crotty found links to the group taking credit for this worm. Given its reputation, would you go to their website?