McAfee Says Mobile Viruses Happening Now!!
We keep hearing research from mobile virus firms about how we need to start worrying about viruses and attacks on our mobile devices. (Here’s some examples, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) But now virus protection firm McAfee has put some numbers to the issue: “…malware that targets devices such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs has increased 30 per cent since the beginning of 2006.” Of course, you’ll notice that to get a number north of zero, they need to include laptops in the same category as PDAs and Smartphones. This research is valueless and tells us nada, and amounts to nothing but FUD. It’s like telling me that theft of cars and toothbrushes is up 5% over last year, so I had better lock down my toothbrush. Please separate those numbers out and tell us the real threat to phones and PDAs if you want some credibility. Lastly, a concession: despite the mountain of FUD, it is true that the increased capabilities of Smartphones, and their open OSes does mean that they will eventually become a target of attacks. But there is no good reason to lie, and say it happened yesterday just because it may happen tomorrow. For now, the biggest problem with security is actually lost or misplaced devices, NOT hacked devices. That’s why enterprise-grade service providers like RIM and Good have “remote self-destruct” features.