Seminar on Cell Phone Virus and Security

Ram Pothuraju

Cell Phone Virus and Security


As cell phones become a part and parcel of our life so do the threats imposed to them is also on the increase. Like the internet, today even the cell phones are going online with the technologies like the edge, GPRS etc. This online network of cell phones has exposed them to the high risks caused by malwares viruses, worms and Trojans designed for mobile phone environment. The security threats caused by these malwares are so severe that a time would soon come that the hackers could infect mobile phones with malicious software that will delete any personal data or can run up a victim s phone bill by making toll calls. All these can lead to overload in mobile networks, which can eventually lead them to crash and then the financial data stealing which poises risk factors for smart phones.
Description of Cell Phone Virus and Security

Rapid advances in low-power computing, communications, and storage technologies continue to broaden the horizons of mobile devices, such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). As the use of these devices extends into applications that's require them to capture, store, access, or communicate sensitive data, (e.g., mobile ecommerce, financial transactions, acquisition and playback of copyrighted content, etc.) security becomes an immediate concern. Left unaddressed, security concerns threaten to impede the deployment of new applications and value-added services, which is an important engine of growth for the wireless, mobile appliance and semiconductor industries. According to a survey of mobile appliance users, 52% cited security concerns as the biggest impediment to their adoption of mobile commerce.

A cell-phone virus is basically the same thing as a computer virus -- an unwanted executable file that "infects" a device and then copies itself to other devices. But where as a computer virus or worm spreads through e-mail attachments and Internet downloads, a cell-phone virus or worm spreads via Internet downloads, MMS (multimedia messaging service) attachments and Bluetooth transfers. The most common type of cell-phone infection right now occurs when a cell phone downloads an infected file from a PC or the Internet, but phone-to-phone viruses are on the rise. Current phone-to-phone viruses almost exclusively infect phones running the Symbian operating system. The large number of proprietary operating systems in the cell-phone world is one of the obstacles to mass infection. Cell-phone-virus writers have no Windows-level market share to target, so any virus will only affect a small percentage of phones. Infected files usually show up disguised as applications like games, security patches, add-on functionalities and free stuff. Infected text messages sometimes steal the subject line from a message you've received from a friend, which of course increases the likelihood of your opening it -- but opening the message isn't enough to get infected.

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