Researchers: Viruses Could Hit Mobile Phones–Someday

We don’t take much stock in these reports, but the Associated Press said that a group of security researchers claim cell phones are the next targets for software viruses.

In a new report, Georgia Tech security researchers said that the growing power of cell phones opens a new avenue of attack for hackers, especially now that they have more robust, always-on Internet connections.

“The Georgia Tech researchers say that if cell phones become absorbed in botnets, new types of moneymaking scams could be born. For example, infected phones could be programmed to call pay-per-minute 1-900 numbers or to buy ringtones from companies set up by the criminals.”

The reason we’re still skeptical is that phones run dozens of different operating systems, on several distinct secure networks; programming a virus would have to take all of this into account. It’s much, much harder to target a virus at a particular cell phone than it is, say, a random Windows PC with an outdated firewall sitting open on someone’s Comcast connection.