Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Should you be scared of mobile viruses?

I attended to a quite big party recently and noticed that someone was trying to send me something via bluetooth. As you can guess, it was a mobile virus.

I did two things that you should never do. Firstly I had switched on bluetooth and secondly I answered yes to every possible question. I received a virus to my phone, but it refused to install. The reason for this was platform diverseness. Virus was from a S60 2nd edition phone and my phone (N96) was 3rd edition Feature Pack 2.

Now you might ask why did I do these things? The reason for this is work. I'm working with different kind of technologies and security is also part of it. The second reason is that I'm just interested in these things.

To answer the question in the title, I would say "No, not yet". There are a few mobile viruses, but at the moment there isn't any business case for virus writers / criminals. I have received a virus via bluetooth 5 times in 3 years or so. Here is a simple list how to avoid mobile viruses:

  1. Switch off bluetooth. Bluetooth is a really common way to distribute viruses because usually operators filter viruses that are included in MMSes.

  2. Don't install any programs if you haven't initiated the installation process. Viruses don't install themselves, usually the user needs to answer "yes" multiple times. It is also good to remember that cracked software can contain viruses, so don't use cracked software.

  3. Don't give your phone to anyone you don't trust. At the moment there are some keyloggers for phones and software that records your phone calls, but if you don't allow anyone to install these, you are safe.

  4. Install Anti-Virus software. If you want to be 100-percent sure, install Anti-Virus software. They work pretty well nowadays and don't slow down other processes in your phone.

No comments: