Answer to mobile phone viruses?

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New Zealand developer SimWorks has outlined plans to develop a reseller channel in Australia for its mobile phone anti-virus software.

New Zealand developer SimWorks has outlined plans to develop a reseller channel in Australia for its mobile phone anti-virus software.

Aaron Davidson, chief executive at Auckland-based SimWorks, said the anti-virus software had been available since July 2004 through global mobile phone equipment portals. However, the company wanted to build a channel also, he said.

"We're new to this game. We've got a lot of online resellers -- people with websites or big online resellers of mobile phone applications and things," he said. "We're looking at a more local [approach]."

Mobile phone handset distributors, retailers and "really anyone" who had a channel that could potentially sell the software, Davidson said.

SimWorks' homegrown mobile phone anti-virus software differed from the few other examples of such a product in the market because it was built from the ground up to suit the needs of mobile phones, he said.

Other products were typically produced by generic security vendors or anti-virus specialists for all kinds of computing equipment. As a result, they often took up too much space in a phone's operating system, he said.

"We're not talking supercomputers here," Davidson said.

Mobile phone viruses and malware were relatively new entrants on the scene. But in the not too distant future, they would be much more common and users would require protection as standard, he said.

It was an opportunity for resellers to get in on the ground floor of an emerging technology to develop a customer base and expertise in what would likely become a profitable field in future, Davidson suggested.

"We were the second mobile phone anti-virus product in the world to be released, and it is the only one [of the first two] being actively developed any more," he said.

SimWorks Anti-Virus and its Subscriber Data Management System phone synchronisation and social networking application was built for the Symbian operating system that controlled most of the world's 3G mobile phones, he said.

Davidson said the product could protect against attacks such as CommWarrior, that sent copies of itself via MMS to contacts randomly selected from the user's address book.

It was quite configurable -- it could be programmed to automatically update its virus definitions, for instance. It also looked for changes in the file system or things coming in via GPRS or SMS, he said.

"They can put it on themselves, but it's easier to put it on at the point of sale. And it has Digital Rights Management (DRM)," he said.

The applications used unique number access codes to generate keys that unlocked the telephone, for example.

SimWorks Anti-Virus also had multilingual capability, Davidson said.

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