I in style I
There is a virus
in your pocket:
30 T oday, cellphone viruses are not
regarded as a big deal. But if you think
your phone will always be safe... think
AlThOuGh ThERE IS A REAl dANGER,
again. You might be carrying a virus around fEW VIRuSES hAVE SPREAd SuCCESSfully
in your pocket.
BECAuSE INfECTING A PhONE IS NOT EASy.
A professor made the comment, during ThERE IS A lACK Of PROGRAMMERS WITh
one of his lectures, that technology has
changed to such an extent that a couple of SuffICIENT KNOWlEdGE Of ThE OPERATING
years ago we would buy a cellphone with
added features as a bonus. Today, we buy SySTEMS dRIVING CEllPhONES TO WRITE
the features with the phone capabilities
being the added-extra. Today’s cellphones
are effectively mobile computers that can
be used to communicate. Cellphones are
becoming a popular avenue for attack interest or if you want to know more, run
because of widespread use and because a Google search or visit your handset
they are more connected to the outside provider’s website.
world than computers (PCs). Cellphone
users want to communicate while viruses This article uses the word ‘virus’ as a
want to be communicated. general term for ‘malicious software’
(better known as ‘Malware’). Malicious
This is a two-part article which provides software encompasses various techniques
an overview of mobile viruses. The article used by hackers, also known as
desktops much more attractive targets.
aims to create awareness and highlights ‘Phreakers’, to obtain unauthorised access
This has changed, with the number of
some potential implications. Part One to a cellphone and its data. These include
cellphone users globally multiplying
discusses a couple of misconceptions and worms, Trojan horses, and viruses.
to an estimated two billion cellphone
outlines the possible avenues of attack.
users worldwide, thus increasing the
Part Two focuses on the risks you might Why the fuss?
attractiveness of cellphones as targets.
be exposed to daily and recommends The number of mobile viruses increased
possible tips to mitigate the risks. (To read to approximately 450 different types of
Although there is a real danger, few viruses
the second part of this article please visit malware during the first quarter of 2008
have spread successfully because infecting
www.accountancysa.org.za) (Lawton 2008). This growth paralleled
a phone is not easy. There is a lack of
the growth pattern showed by computer
programmers with sufficient knowledge of
The purpose of these articles is to make viruses af