We all think about anti-virus software for our PC’s but as the number of smartphone users continues to climb we can expect to see a lot more mobile OS attacks. And no one is safe. You probably remember when an iPhone SMS vulnerability was revealed that lets you do all sorts of fancy things like track a user using GPS, turn on their mic to listen to conversations and act as a zombie. This was two years after a Safari exploit was revealed that provided full access to the iPhone. Android was treated with a different sort of attack when a developer was able to add apps to the Android Market that pretended to be bank apps to help you view your account information from your phone and it was really provided the author with your account information. And recently a Windows Mobile game was distributed as freeware and it contained an additional file that sent phones to call international numbers overnight.

What’s this mean to us? Well obviously you need to think before you load suspicious software, whether that be software that has login information (not just to bank accounts but also email accounts, Facebook, etc) or if it comes from an unknown source. And yes, if you’re loading warez then you really need to think if the savings is worth the potential costs (aside from the illegal thing). I’m often one of the first to test apps (yes- for you guys:)) but it probably makes sense to let others be the guinea pig. Obviously the manufacturers are expected to keep their platforms secure, but we may not be far away from needing anti-virus software on our phones. This is already widely available from Norton, Kaspersky, Eset and others but I don’t think it’s flying off te shelves.

Do you guys have any real concerns at this point about mobile security? Do you think these few examples are blown out of proportion because it’s a good story or is this real and potentially just the beginning?

2 COMMENTS

  1. With such a wide variety of backup methods available for smartphones, ranging from onboard flash backups to desktop and cloud syncing etc. I don’t think it’s as big an issue as pc’s. I can reflash my phone in 10 minutes all the way back to perfection after a long or particularly hardcore stint of smartphone filth (and no, not porn. just shitty apps and tweaks). My pc takes hours and my HDD are over 3TB in size. Backup and restore is a bitch. As phones grow and change obviously the nature of backup will also (I think cloud will really take off, although I hate the idea but I’m paranoid.) I’m hoping my backup needs on my phone won’t exceed my available local storage, as well as EVER take more than 15 minutes to flash.

  2. […] Speaking of software, glad you brought up the Android Market. We haven’t mentioned that since yesterday when MSNBC questioned Android’s Market. MSNBC stated “Wallpapers, ringtones, and glorified RSS feeds all boost the Android Market’s numbers, but offer little value compared to, say, a great utility app such as Locale. As with the iPhone, which hit the 100,000 app mark last November, it’s worth questioning how many Android apps are actually useful.” Their words, not mine…And that’s excluding the apps that are approved and contain malicious code. […]

Comments are closed.