Smartphones are great tools, but at what risk?

Tullett, Jon
July 2004
SC Magazine: For IT Security Professionals (UK Edition);Jul2004, p9
This article focuses on the risk of using smartphones. Mobile phones are allegedly evolving into smartphones. For one, Sony has taken the step of backing out of the personal digital assistant market, choosing instead to back its Sony-Ericsson smartphone line. Manufacturers are cramming new features into such devices, and almost inevitably, security is the least factor that consumers consider. As the devices become increasingly complex, the surface area for attack increases and as popularity grows they also become a more attractive target. As a result, a worm attacking Symbian smartphones has been spotted, and while not particularly successful, it is allegedly the first of many to come. Also, there is the Bluetooth vulnerabilities which can allow limited access to data on one's mobile device. Apparently, mobile device manufacturers have not paid enough attention to security issues. Until they demonstrate serious commitment to implement security features, users may have to make a tough decision whether to use such devices at all. Allegedly, Microsoft packed new features into its products to please its target market and thereby created a dream platform for hackers. As a result, the company has had to spend enormous resources to fix the problem it created.


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