Windows use could boost mobile malware

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A security expert has warned that the increasing use of Microsoft code in mobile applications could lead to a rise in mobile malware activity.

Kevin Hogan, senior manager at Symantec Security Response, said that, while very little malware activity is aimed at mobile phones, the situation could change as Microsoft's influence grows.

Hogan cited two large Japanese telecoms companies which are actively evaluating Windows CE devices.

"If Windows CE is taken up in a big way in a large market we may see some increased malware activity," he warned.

"There is not a lot of functionality built in that will stop attacks on that platform, so there could be a problem if it takes off. As for other operating systems there has been very little new activity."

Hogan explained that, while there are mobile viruses and malware in circulation, the vast majority are derived from two basic programs, Cabir and Commwarrior.

These originally surfaced as proof-of-concept malware and have since been modified for release by script kiddies using automated virus-generation kits.

"There were a couple of individuals who had the understanding to exploit mobile phone systems and it appears they have gone quiet. The malware out there is just script kiddie code," said Hogan.

The security expert also believes that next year will not be marked by virus activity targeting Windows Vista. As few systems will be running Vista next year, there will be only a small number of major attacks.
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