Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On Mobile Malware: Yay or Nay!?

When I see stuff like this, I think "mobile malware" will be huge. But then I think rationally for a bit, and it seems like it won't :-) So, let me think about it a bit more since many folks are planning to launch companies to fight the coming onslaught of the mobile malware ... 

Why mobile malware will be a scourge of the future?

  • there are many more cell phones than PCs - great opportunity for global infections and overall wireless mayhem (and robbery?)
  • many cell phones/PDAs nowadays are always connected to a TCP/IP based network (more will be in the future)
  • there are other fun avenues of possible spread, including Bluetooth, MMS, etc
  • new methods of commercializing mobile malware will be invented (ah, make that "are being invented NOW")
Why mobile malware will be nothing much?
  • sorry, but malware is commercial now and there is not much to steal from a typical mobile phone (Tiny porn? Address book? Eh?)
  • similarly, mobile platforms are limited in both user and system functionality
  • data is still secondary to voice on most modern mobile platforms (exception: Blackberry); thus, if your attack affects data only, the phone is still pretty usable
  • there is no standard cell phone platform (like Windows in the PC world)

BTW, a few related, some mildly hilarious, links:

The last link also explains: "A great deal of changes need to take place before any year can claim that title: convergence of platforms, greater degree of integration, other targets become less attractive because they become harder to hack, an increase in data and transaction values of mobile targets; the emergence of a premier vulnerability on mobile platforms."

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: ,

Dr Anton Chuvakin