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AT&T moots consumer mobile security service

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In an attempt to counter rising security threats to mobile devices, AT&T has announced it will launch a consumer wireless security service next year.

The service will ride on the back of reported growth in the malware-for-mobiles market, such as has been reported in the Android market.

Last week, Juniper Networks claimed that its research indicated a 400 percent rise in tainted Android applications.

Mobiles have also hit the headlines for tracking something – maybe users’ locations, maybe just the hotspots of bystanders whose networks are briefly visible to a passing iOS or Android device – and as El Reg reported on May 16, Android phones have been found to leak account credentials.

The mooted AT&T service would also cover iPhone devices in response to a “spike” in attacks on mobile devices, which AT&T enterprise business chief John Stankey attributed to the growing base of devices.

Consumer security services have proven a tough sell in the past, but Stankey says security “will become as relevant in the mobile space as it is today in the desktop”.

Hinting at the likely strategy of security vendors over the coming twelve months, Stankey said rising awareness of mobile security threats would make consumers more receptive to security products and services.

While emphasizing the severity of the threat, AT&T is happy to take a relaxed attitude to its launch schedule, promising the service sometime in 2012 – presumably after the consumer psyche has been suitably primed. ®

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