Defending Cell Phones Against Viruses
The prevalence of advanced features on cell phones, especially Bluetooth wireless connections and MMS messaging, leave cell phones increasingly vulnerable to viruses. Gartner, in fact, believes a fast-spreading cell phone virus is likely to strike sometime before the end of 2007. In response, antivirus software developers Symantec, McAfee and F-Secure are developing security software for smart phones. Although these products have made inroads in Japan, the major US phone carriers have resisted such protection, declaring their networks safe from malicious use. Verizon and T-Mobile routinely scan their networks for virus activity and block anything suspicious.
Whether consumers demand antivirus software for their phones will depend largely on perception and media attention given to a virus outbreak, and the sense among corporate mobile phone customers that their assets need maximum protection. But as phones become more complex, contain more data and become ever more deeply ingrained in our lives, a serious virus could become downright crippling.