Is That a Virus in Your Pocket?

Mobile gadgets, such as smart phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), are vulnerable to viruses written for them, but the threat is still relatively small. No mobile gadget virus has run rampant through the world's pockets in any notable wayyet.

The current crop of viruses attack Nokia's Series 60 smartphones that run the Symbian operating system, which is the world's most dominant mobile operating system. However, it is installed on only 2%3% of mobile phones worldwide.

One virus, called Cabir, jumps between devices using Bluetooth, a short range wireless technology designed for gadget-to-gadget data transfer. The virus Commwarrior uses multimedia messaging service (MMS) to transfer the virus. Normally MMS is used to send pictures and audio between phones. And the Skulls virus spreads into a Symbian smartphone inside another program.

The upshot is that you really have to work hard to infect your gadgets with a virus. That might change as gadgets evolve and get more powerful, like computers, but for the time being your devices are mostly safe from viruses.

The Absolute Minimum

  • Computer viruses are programs written by malcontents that do bad things to your computer. These days most new viruses are written to earn their authors money through sending spam or extortion rackets.

  • Viruses are triggered by an action you take. You have to execute a virus for it to infect your computer.

  • Specialty viruses, known as worms, can deploy without your intervention. Worms travel across networks.

  • Viruses can destroy data, vandalize your computer, take control of it, or use it as a spam sender.

  • Your best defense is to run an up-to-date antivirus program and scan your computer with it once a week.

  • You should download Windows security updates as they become available.

  • The most important security update for Windows XP is Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Absolute Beginners Guide To. Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses
Absolute Beginners Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses
ISBN: 0789734591
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 168

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