Malware threat to mobile internet and online communities
( dpa ) - Malware, the evil software exemplified by viruses, is set to spread through internet-enabled mobile phones soon, web security companies warned at CeBIT in Germany on Tuesday.
Experts forecast web communities, such as Facebook and wiki sites, would also prove dangerous for gullible users, who open files without considering whether they may be infecting their own computers with malware.
A software company, F-Secure, released figures at CeBIT, the world's biggest software and computing expo, indicating 86 per cent of mobile-phone internet users had no anti-virus software installed at all.
The company's chief technology officer, Mikko Hypponen, who offers an annual survey at CeBIT of internet safety, said, "About 400 viruses have been discovered so far that were specially written to infect mobile phones and other mobile devices."
He said the overall risk remained low compared to the threat to personal computers, but the number of viruses was bound to rise once mobiles became common internet search devices.
Russian anti-virus expert Eugene Kaspersky agreed: "The effort of writing special malware for mobile phones is hardly worth it. But the more that online banking takes place on mobile phones, the bigger the danger becomes."
Kaspersky perceived a new threat in communities, a key feature of the sophisticated new-style internet known as Web 2.0, where many users post their personal data and pictures without a care for their privacy.
"Hardly anybody nowadays opens suspicious attachments they find in their e-mail. But an attacker who disguises malware as a YouTube video or puts it behind a link in a Wikipedia article stands a good chance of catching people out.
"Web 2.0 goes hand in hand with Vulnerability 2.0," he said.