Mobile Phone Hacking and Security Software Needs

The New York Times reports that, as the mobile phones are becoming ever more like personal computers, they are also becoming more vulnerable to traditional computer menaces like hackers and viruses.

Kaspersky Lab reported a new malicious program that stole money by taking over Nokia phones and making small charges to the owners’ wireless accounts.

Last month, an Australian student created an experimental worm that hopscotched across iPhones altered to run software Apple has not authorized. The mischievous worm installed a photo of the ’80s pop star Rick Astley. But to security experts, it suggested that pernicious attacks on iPhones are possible.

Now that mobile smartphones are actually replacing the regular personal computers, mobile security has got attention. Lookout, an aspiring mobile security company, began testing security software for phones running the Windows Mobile and Android operating systems, and it will soon introduce security applications for the BlackBerry and iPhone.

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The Lookout software protects phones against rogue programs and gives phone owners the ability to remotely backup and erase the data on their phones. It also lets them track the location of their handset on the Web. A basic version of the software is free, while the company plans to charge a monthly subscription for a version with more features.

Companies like Research In Motion and Good Technology, a Silicon Valley-based mobile messaging firm, already offer mobile security tools, but their systems are aimed at enterprises. Security firms like Symantec also have mobile security divisions.

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