Smart phones under growing threat from hackers

Smart phones are under a growing menace from cyber-criminals seeking to hack into web-connected handsets, but the mobile industry has contained the threat so far, AFP reports. Software security firms warned at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that increasingly popular smart phones could face an explosion of virus attacks in the coming years. “Tomorrow we could see a worm on phones [that] would go around the world in five minutes,” said Mikko Hyppoenen, chief research officer at F-Secure, which makes anti-virus software for mobile phones. Security companies, mobile operators, and makers of operating systems so far have found solutions to limit the attacks and delay an onslaught of spam and viruses. “It won’t work forever; eventually we will see the first global outbreak. But we have been able to delay it by more than five years, at least,” he said. The first mobile virus appeared six years ago, and so far F-Secure has detected only 430 mobile worms, compared with millions of computer viruses. Much like the first computer hackers of two decades ago, the people attacking mobile phones have been doing it as a hobby, Hyppoenen said. “It seems that on any new platform, … the first viruses are done by hobbyists just to show off, and then later, more professional money-making criminals move in,” he said…

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