03 Feb 2011

Smartphones present computer virus dangers

With the popularity of smartphones increasing, computer viruses may also see a spike, according to security experts.

Companies embracing web technology, such as social networking and mobile computing, have created new layers of risk. Threats from malicious software are multiplying with the rapid increase of mobile computing devices, such as the iPhone and BlackBerry.

Smartphones and Tablet PCs are increasingly linked to corporate networks, and these connections are often unsecure. Users of these devices are also unaware of the need to provide passwords and encryption protection, making corporate and personal data vulnerable.

According to Nick Gellato, a partner at Deloitte and Privacy Services, smartphones are a conduit for the spread of computer viruses and malicious code between mobile and enterprise networks. Social networking sites also present dangers, as many encourage users to click on links that may not be secure.

“If you bring a smartphone with corporate data home, don’t be surprised if your tech savvy teenager can jailbreak the code,” he said.

The app market is also a huge risk, as more than 250,000 applications are available for download. Google had to pull dozens of unauthorized banking apps, which could have captured consumer banking credentials and infect devices with worms, Trojans and spyware.