We asked Bloggers around the Internet for insights about cell phone security. Is your cell phone really susceptible to the same kinds of viruses that you can get on your computer? Our first post comes from Joeseph Hunkins:
Currently, I'd suggest that users are at the greatest threat from stolen phones, overheard conversations, ringtone scams, and problematic "legitimate" software than from dangerous mobile applications but this is bound to change as data, web surfing, WiFi, and bluetooth capabilities sweep over the mobile market and make it a more lucrative area for illegal activity.
In a recent interview Eric Everson of MyMobisafe software suggested that the four greatest threats to all wireless users are: mobile keyloggers, snoopware, viruses, and hackers. MyMobisafe offers protection for the mobile device by encrypting data at the handset level.
Everson notes that "Most cell phone threats will enter a phone by one of three points of vulnerability which are by inbox messaging, Bluetooth, or WiFi. Most commonly hackers and mobile malware target the inbox as it is a common feature in all phones and has the least amount of security."
AVG anti-virus is now beta testing a similar mobile security solution. See this SlashPhone article about AVG's approach and how to register with AVG for more information about how to get involved in that beta.
Symbian mobile software has a good track record countering malicious activity. From Wikipedia:
Symbian OS has been subject to a variety of viruses, the best known of which is Cabir. Usually these send themselves from phone to phone by Bluetooth. So far, none have taken advantage of any flaws in Symbian OS instead, they have all asked the user whether they would like to install the software, with somewhat prominent warnings that it can't be trusted.
However, of course, the average mobile phone user shouldn't have to worry about such things, so Symbian OS 9.x has adopted a capability model. Installed software will theoretically be unable to do damaging things (such as costing the user money by sending network data) without being digitally signed thus making it traceable.
Summary: Users can continue to relax and practice basic online common sense regarding applications and downloads. Handset makers will continue to innovate in this area and an increasing number of third party handset security solutions will continue to enter the market.
If you want to see more from Joeseph Hunkin, check out his JoeDuck.
Different spyware has become a real pain in the neck of late. I've finally found quite reliable anti-keylogging solution for my desktop (installed PrivacyKeyboard in addition to anti-virus and firewall), but I'm not very confident in the security of my cell phone. I think the counter measures are not catching up with the development of spy programs.