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+ One in 63 Symbian Phones Infected by Mobile Malware

30 July 2009

New Data from SMobile Systems'
Global Threat Center Reveals Stunning
Influx of Malware on Symbian Smartphones!

Mobile virologyAccording to a new study conducted by SMobile Systems, nearly one out of every 63 smartphones powered by the Symbian operating system is infected with some form of malware and to be really honest with you I find this very hard to believe considering that average smartphone user have to do a lot wrong to be hit by some sort of mobile malware.

The study of 1,958 smartphones revealed infections by Spyware, Viruses Worms and Trojans, as well as hundreds of unlicensed software programs installed on the handsets reviewed. A comparison of these statistics to the worldwide smartphone population places the number of infected devices globally into the millions.

Because the vast majority of these infections are designed to be stealthy and the fact that few smartphones posses Anti-Malware applications, most infected users are completely unaware their devices have been compromised.

"As more and more people carry smartphones, the target-rich environment is proving to be incredibly tempting to hackers, spammers and criminals looking to steal vital information on these handsets. With millions upon millions of new devices in the market, the likelihood of unwanted infection increases," said Neil Book, president of SMobile Systems. "The sophistication and ease of spreading malware is escalating; as such, the need for handset-based security has never been greater."

SMobile's Global Threat Center (GTC) monitors devices throughout the world for malware infections detected by its industry-leading Security Shield(TM) software. Throughout 2009 the GTC has seen a marked increase in the capabilities of new malware infecting mobile devices, as well as the frequency of attacks. The attacks have taken the form of worms and Trojans that are transmitted via Bluetooth, SMS, MMS, or email, as well as Spyware that is unwontedly being downloaded from various online application and shareware websites.

According to Daniel V. Hoffman, chief technology officer of SMobile, "These attacks are very concerning and financially motivated. The Spyware we are detecting has the ability to intercept e-mail and SMS messages, allow hackers to listen-in on voice conversations and even track the location of the user. This can have devastating repercussions to those performing online financial transactions, mobile banking or having sensitive business-oriented communications. Additionally, worms are unknowingly sending Premium SMS messages from infected devices, directly charging user cell phone accounts."

SMobile currently markets and sells its Anti-Theft and Identity Protection and Security Shield(TM) suites, which address the critical threats facing consumers, enterprise users and government agencies using smartphones. The software protects users from malware, hackers and physical compromise with its anti-virus, firewall and remote lock, locate, wipe and backup features.

Mr. Hoffman concluded, "Handset manufacturers and network carriers continue to insist that mobile malware is not a significant concern. According to data from our customers, the infection rate is accelerating and the capabilities of today's mobile malware is increasing."

SMobile (www.smobilesystems.com) headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, currently offers the most comprehensive suite of security and parental control applications on the market for consumer, business and government smartphone users.

Mobile virology

Source: Press Author: Teo


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