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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 11:27 AM

Greetings all,

This is probably a silly question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

Having just got a new phone (Andriod operating system) I was watching my daughter flying around the internet on it last night and wondered do you need virus protection for mobiles?.

Feel free to shout if this is a really silly question.

Many thanks,

merlin-100

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#1

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 1:14 PM

You are now acting as the beta tester for both the virus writers and the service provider. They get to determine which platforms to target/protect respectively. All platforms are potentially vunerable.

The phone may become attractive to the bad guys as the phones get smarter, i.e. bank information or other useful stuff is left out there unprotected.

No, your question is not silly.

Are there any security apps being offered yet? May be worth looking into. Consider the cost among other things.

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#2

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 2:30 PM

That was a great question. Unfortunately I don't have an answer. It would seem logical that if desktops and laptops can get infected with viruses, a mobile phone that can access the internet would also be vulnerable to attack. You might ask your internet provider or mobile phone company.

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#3

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 2:40 PM

Very valid question. And guest and Ron both have good points.

I still have a RAZR but will soon be getting a new smart phone. I'm keenly interested in the answer myself.

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#4

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 3:28 PM

I'm sure all of us have searched the internet for the answer too. The only thing I found was for a SmartPhone. I have an antique LG8500 flip phone, oh ya baby..a flip phone!! I am looking around for the latest and greatest to buy now and am keenly interested in virus protection. I've been asking at the phone stores in my city and no one has had an answer...hmmmmm.

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#5

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 3:47 PM

Also a "good question" and "I don't know" from me. There is probably a Droid in either my or my wife's future so I too am interested.

The bad new is, the internet is not your only security threat. Many of these phones have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Both are security risks. You might think of Wi-Fi as being "Internet" but with Wi-Fi being a channel into your phone's operating system it is much more of a threat than just "infected email" and "don't click on things you don't understand". ... Sound crazy? A hacker in the food court of a shopping mall is probably within Wi-Fi range of several hundred smart phones. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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#6

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 7:36 PM

Merlin,

Nope, it's not a silly question. Just the opposite, in fact. You could put all I know about smart phones in a very, very small container, but these folks seem to know what they're doing:

http://usa.kaspersky.com/products-services/home-computer-security/mobile-security

http://www.pcworld.com/article/117904/nokia_phone_adds_virus_protection.html

http://us.mcafee.com/root/product.asp?productid=mobile_info

http://home.mcafee.com/advicecenter/Default.aspx?id=ad_eims_ccs

Also, there's the concept of jailbreaking your phone. It seems like a good idea if you want access to software from someone outside the regular channels, but the very nature of that practice may expose your phone to software of unknown pedigree.

At the very least, I would think if you're going to store sensitive data on your phone it should be in an encrypted or password-protected form instead of just typed into the average unprotected notepad or database.

While tinkering with my phone, I came across a setting that will (supposedly) erase the entire phone if someone enters the wrong unlock code ten times. I turned that on, but haven't had the intestinal fortitude to see if it's true. It's kind of like life insurance; the only way to win is to lose, though I could back it all up and try it some rainy day with I'm really, really bored.

Logan

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#7

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 10:56 PM

Not a silly question at all. And there IS a malware app floating around that specifically targets Open Source phone OS'es. I have been trying to find the details, but have lost that e-mail. However, if I remember the threat correctly, it rides in on a music file (ah, yes, that thing that phones weren't MEANT to do, again), and jumps from there to use your text messaging software (standard SMS apps. I suppose they are so ubiquitous and have such a common interface, that the API's (think of them as system hooks for the software) are simple, easy to access, and nearly universal for all apps with similar capabilities). At any rate, once it makes the jump, it basically spams your contact list via text message.

Sounds an awful lot like most of the script kiddy Trojans that attack PCs.

Interestingly, I haven't heard of any "in the wild" malware targeting any of the more proprietary OS'es. I'd guess its a matter of accessibility (jail-broken phones, and any that allow a broader variety of apps, which, basically, limits it to Open Source OSes make a rich pool of targets) and the expected growth rate of the entire Open Source market that made them the inevitable first targets. But look for expansion.

Come to think of it, America still lags a lot of the world in cell-market saturation, so you probably have a greater risk than we do.

Sorry about that.

My phone is an older LG. And I don't download or surf with it. So I hope I'm safe.

Good Luck!

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#8

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/16/2010 11:46 PM

I use an HTC Touch HD with a windows mobile 6.1 OS. For about a year now I have been using Kaspersky mobile security suite. I have to say this does everything I want it to do. It can block unwanted phone calls and SMS's. It also has anti-theft tracking features that should help you get your phone back if lost or stolen even if the sim card is changed I beleive.

All in all i have been very satisfied with the Kaspersky security software. The main selling point for me was the SMS and call blocking that many other security apps did not have.

Both Norton and McAfee also supply mobile security suites but I am not sure what OS's they support.

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#9

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/17/2010 5:10 AM

Morning all,

Thank you for all your replys. G.A. guest, it is not a comforting throught to realise that the phone and virus protection companies are re-active rather than pro-active, `lets wait and see what happens`a bit late by then.

BruceFlorida came up with a good point, I had thought wi-fi might be safer, have'nt used it yet on this phone, not sure I will now. Thank you Logan and varrus 75 for the web address/advise, I will be checking them out soon.

Only one question, do I check them out using the mobile?

I was curious Varrus 75 you must be in the worlds biggest emerging market and you have virus protection is this a common problem in China?

merlin-100

p.s. CR4 Tech team, I've stopped getting daily digest is it me or you?

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/17/2010 5:24 AM

In most cases I think you can get a 30 day trial vesrion to check out which software works for you. I tested Norton and Kaspersky before I decided to cough up the cash for Kaspersky.

I haven't had any problems with virus on the phone. I use it mainly for SMS, calls and work emails and for running a translation software I have. Most of the internet sites I browse are things like yahoo, wikipedia and the BBC. So not too much chance of infection. If looking at much more I will use a PC anyway. However, PC protection is much more needed over here. I learnt early on not to buy the knock off software down the local computer market.

I don't know any others in China that do use anti-virus software on their phones though.

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#11

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/17/2010 5:33 AM

I should not worry too much about viruses.

When (if) you get one, then you will probably see the phone affected.
It is more important NOT to accept any incoming "offers." Like..

You have won.. the lottery; a big prize; seen this!.. etc. If you keep your
"door" closed, very little will get in. But, they are clever in using your curiosity!
So please be on your guard. The old adage, if it sounds too good to be true...

I have sent you a private message (re. my new web site) which I cannot
advertise here. It is especially for UK mobile phones, and extremely useful.

Don't let the worry of a virus stop you enjoying your new phone, windows to
the world, (there are S**ts everywhere) you can always do a factory re-set.

Best wishes jt.

On his deathbed, my grandfather sold me this gold watch.

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Power-User

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#12

YES. Install free Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/17/2010 9:41 AM

I had used WinMobile touch phones for years, and jumped to Andriod-based as soon as HTC released the "Incredible" which leapfrogged the performance of initial droid phones in an ultra-slim package.

One of the first things I did, coming from a Windows-based universe of phones, was research online for Andriod security apps. Amazingly enough, one of the highest-rated simple "Anti-Virus" apps is available in a Free version directly within the approved "Android Marketplace" supported by the built-in Google market interface. It is called, appropriately enough: "AntiVirus".

There is a Pro version that I highly recommend, with added functionality including Spam-SMS blocking and online support, with a real-time virus protection that runs in the background with a tiny memory/CPU footprint. You can check out the details first online, if you wish, by browsing over to the site I found linked in the "Help" menu: droidsecurity.com

Have fun with your new phone - they're amazing! And once you get used to 'click - say your destination - Instant Navigation with real-time updated google-maps...' you'll never go back to your poor old Tom-Tom. Jill-Jill. whatever.

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#13

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection

09/17/2010 11:36 AM

In the first 12 replies, no one has mentioned the iPhone. There has yet to be a virus that affects Macs running OSX. I last dealt with a Mac virus in 1998. If Apple has been so successful in avoiding viruses in OSX, I suspect they will do the same in iOS.

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Anonymous Poster
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Mobile (Cell Phone) Virus Protection...market

09/17/2010 12:32 PM

the ol' Freedom vs. Security conundrum...

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Anonymous Poster (2); BruceFlorida (1); dkwarner (1); jt (1); logan (1); lyn (1); Matt Skywalker (1); merlin-100 (1); micahd02 (1); ronseto (1); Sandman (1); varrus75 (2)

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