All Fear The Mobile Phone Botnets... That Don't Actually Exist

from the this-again? dept

For many years, we saw stories, usually pushed by security software companies, about how mobile phone viruses were some huge threat that had to be dealt with quickly before they spread around the world. Of course, that hasn't actually happened -- and there are some good reasons why it's unlikely. In fact, it seemed like such stories had been decreasing lately, perhaps in part due to some security firms scolding competitors for mobile virus FUD.

So, we were a bit surprised to see yet another story on the subject, this time suggesting that we're on the verge of (I'm not making this up) a "Cell Phone Zombie Uprising." Some researchers are predicting that mobile phones would be perfect for botnets, though, again it's not clear how that would actually happen, given the limitations of phones. While it is true that phones have become more powerful (and open) over the past few years, there still hasn't been much evidence that viruses and such are a real threat. Most phones are designed well enough to not make it easy for apps to just install themselves -- so consider us skeptical until there's real evidence of a mobile botnet rising.

Filed Under: botnet, fud, mobile, virus


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  1. icon
    Allen (profile), 20 Oct 2008 @ 1:51am

    It's about critical mass

    So far WinTel's overwhelming user base has negated the need for non-WinTel viruses and botnets.

    So far we do not have a mobile device (or family of devices) that is/are widely enough deployed to make it worth the effort. Sure mobile devices are getting more powerful. No doubt they could find exploitable security holes if they wanted to. Certainly they could try "CLICK NOW HERE FOR VIRUS REMOVE" social exploits. But why bother when there are more than enough WinTel marks out there to exploit?

    That's not to say that the situation wont ever change. But it's too early to be doing the chicken little act just yet.

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