Mobile viruses a threat, but epidemics can be stopped at the gate

Mobile viruses infecting phones through Bluetooth and MMS create a growing need for the wireless industry to act. While such viruses are still rare and so far only affect smartphones, the damage they could do to users, but also to service providers and handset vendors cannot be ignored. Mobile users could be harmed by loss or modification of data, increased service bills, or reduced communication capabilities. Industry players could see revenues or brand image at risk should mobile viruses to infect a large number of handsets. Still, large-scale infections are unlikely; in this whitepaper, the independent consultancy Northstream rather concludes that mobile viruses emphasize the need for industry-wide content certification. Northstream believes that industry-wide certification initiatives such as Java Verified go into the right direction, but need to be amended to cover security testing and – at least in the short term – anti-virus software to smartphones. Concerted efforts of all industry players will ensure that users can benefit from rich application services, while being protected from potentially harmful content at the same time.

Mobile viruses - hype or real threat (pdf)
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