After Five Years, Apparently The Mobile Virus Flood Is Really Coming This Time
from the we've-been-waiting dept
Some academic researchers are now saying that the only thing holding back a tidal wave of mobile malware is that no single operating system has sufficient market share, but once one hits 10 percent, phones running it are dead meat. But that argument doesn't wash, nor do the researchers' claims that an MMS-based virus could infect an entire population of devices in a matter of hours. First, the market share figure doesn't make a lot of sense, given that platforms like Nokia's Series 40 already feature in hundreds of millions of devices, creating a large target population. Second, MMS messages still have to travel through operators' servers, so they're much easier to scan for malware than PC-based communications. As long as operators' malware filters are working as they should, it won't be too difficult to stop the spread of an MMS virus. But perhaps the biggest factor holding back mobile malware is that there really isn't any money in it for virus authors. Botnets of mobile phones aren't much use for sending out spam, and generally, the money trail created by any sort of premium-message scam can be relatively easily tracked. The closed nature of mobile networks and mobile devices makes them much less susceptible to malware than internet-connected PCs, and no amount of hype will change that.