Who’s next for a smartphone virus?

Graham Cluley

Since the late 1990s some doom-mongers in the computer security industry have been predicting a tidal wave of mobile phone viruses, impacting every hoody-wearing happy-slappy ringtone-downloading ASBO-carrying teenager in the land.

The reality has been rather different. Although some cellphone malware has emerged it should be regarded as a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the staggering amounts of Windows-based malware attacking desktops and laptop computers every day. Furthermore, the mobile viruses have typically been written by enthusiasts rather than financially-motivated criminals, and not spread very far – if at all.

But the recent in-the-wild outbreaks of malware for jailbroken Apple iPhones has lead some people to ask me if the situation is changing, and – if it is – what other operating systems might be at risk of having malware written for them?

It’s worth remembering that iPhones are only at risk from the…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, on Mastodon at @[email protected], or drop him an email.