Computer users have dealt with viruses and hackers for years, but now it appears as more and more of us move from the desktop to the far more mobile cell phone, it seems that the hackers have decided to follow us. What a shock.
In early Nov., iPhones that had been jailbroken – versions of the phone that are freed of some of the restrictions Apple places on them – had a virus spread over them that installed a picture of the infamous Rick Astley. While this was a harmless hack, it was quickly followed up by an actual virus that was after your passwords and banking information, and while it again only worked on phones that had been jailbroken, it was disturbing to see it happen.
According to The New York Times, it hasn’t just been iPhones that have been hit, but also Nokia phones have been targeted by hackers looking for banking information.
So now that the hackers have gone mobile, of course the anti-virus companies are coming along to join in the fight. Lookout is a small security start-up in Silicon Valley that has already secured $5.5 million in venture capital to work on developing software to protect mobile phones. Thus far they have released security programs for Windows Mobile and Android based phones, and development is ongoing for BlackBerry and iPhone systems. Not only will their programs help protect your phones from intruders, it will also allow you to track your phone’s physical location via the Web.
There is an endless stream of experts stating that in the coming years that cell phones will take over as the number one way we connect to the Internet. The more this happens, the more hackers will focus on them and soon it will be just like browsing the Web with a regular computer; you never know when and where a virus will hit you. The odds of it staying restricted to jailbroken iPhones is slim to none, it will just be a matter if Apple can bring its notoriously safe Mac practices to their mobile platform. For everyone else, you had best hope Lookout or a similar company can deliver on a anti-virus program for your mobile platform.