Feeds

We've got the solution. Where's the problem?

Anti-virus software for handhelds

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Firms selling antivirus software for mobile platforms are "selling insurance for something that doesn't exist" - an antivirus software firm claims.

And worse, the development of antivirus software for PDAs and other handheld devices could give virus writers ideas for malicious code that they might not otherwise have thought of.

That's the contentious view of Bruce Walton, UK managing director of antivirus firm Command. He notes that no virus poses a risk to PDAs and claims that the development of security software for handhelds could "pre-warn virus authors or show them a way to do malicious code".

Walton argues that rival antivirus developers are jumping the gun in developing a cure for handheld viruses before there's any sign of a disease.

"How can you develop antivirus software without knowing what a virus author might do? You're just guessing what he might do," he said.

Malice in Wonderland

Jack Clark, of Network Associates, a rival security firm gives short shrift to Walton's thesis that antivirus software developers, who know a great deal about how malicious code works, can think of nasty exploits that wouldn't occur to clueless virus authors.

He argues that antivirus software for handhelds responds proactively to the problem and "closes the door on the threat before it occurs".

Although how much of a problem bugs on PDA will be remains unknown, he admitted, that didn't stop Clark comparing Command's approach to "leaving the doors open until someone steals your TV".

Clark dismissed the idea that developing antivirus software for handhelds software might give virus authors any help, "we don't leave clues in our software on how to develop viruses," he said.

Walton agrees that viruses and worms will arrive, one day, on handhelds, simply because these devices are so popular that virus writers will have easy access to the technology. Furthermore, they will strive to create malicious code in the knowledge that, if successful, their creations could wreak widespread havoc. ®

Related stories

Palm Pilot virus isolated
Stop the antivirus vendor hype
Anna Kournikova bug drops harmlessly onto the Net
Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug
Virus toolkits are s'kiddie menace
Which country has the most virus infected PCs?

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.