Mobile virus epidemic imminent


Mobile phones will be hit by a new outbreak of crippling viruses, according to a consultancy firm. Deloitte today added flames to the mobile-insecurity fire by reasserting the threat posed by the ever-increasing number of mobile devices.

"A growing dependence on electronic devices means that both consumers and businesses are increasingly vulnerable to attack," said Tony Cooper telecoms partner at Deloitte. "The proliferation of mobile devices provides a number of new entry points for hackers to gain access to private, corporate and even government networks."

IT security experts have backed-up Deloitte's claim, saying it is only a matter of time before a significant attack occurs on mobile networks.

"At this stage mobile phone viruses, such as Cabir, are very much proof of concept. I don't expect for one minute the boys at 29A expected Cabir to spread as far as it has," said David Emm, senior technology consultant at Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky. "But there is this continuing trickle of mobile phone viruses a leap ahead in sophistication will come soon. I have no doubt."

Emm pointed out that significant attacks on mobile networks have already been attempted.

"Four-to-five years ago a Spanish network was hit by messages sent to random mobile numbers that got the users to call premium rate lines," he said. "As soon as the sponsors of these attacks feel they can make profit from them they will attack mobile devices."

In December SC reported one virus expert who said that mobile phone malware would be prevalent within two years. The current rate of Cabir's expansion suggests it might be sooner.

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