Are Cell Phones Safe From Viruses And Other Malware?

Ha!

Thats a bit like asking whether Apple Macs can get infected by malware.

cell phone viruses and malware

cell phone viruses and malware

The only reason cell phones haven’t been hit by as many viruses as desktop PCs is because not many virus writers have started targeting them yet.

In 2001, a mobile phone virus surfaced on Japan’s NTT DoCoMo I-mode service, took over basic functions of handsets, and caused them to dial 110, Japan’s equivalent of 911.

Like many PC viruses, this virus spread via email.

Hackers also are beginning to target cell phones and PDAs connected to networks with malicious code in an attempt to gain access to those networks.

With the increase in cell phone usage, along with the growing popularity of wireless internet on such devices, this trend is only likely to increase.

In early 2003, some cell phone users in the U.S. and Europe received malicious code embedded in what appeared to be a spam message.

The message deleted the address books on the phones and disabled SMS.

While malicious code and viruses are still extremely rare, they will become more common now that phones are becoming ubiquitous and feature-rich.

Virus writers tend to target systems where they can do the most damage and get the most bangs for their buck.

This is why more viruses attack Microsoft PCs than Apple’s Macintosh.

Because Microsoft controls more than 90 percent of the market, it is a better target.

Now that phones can download executable code, and a few brands are controlling a major portion of the market, we will begin to see more viruses targeting mobile phones.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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