Friday, May 28, 2010

Protecting the smartphone from malware

Despite the increasing sophistication of smartphones and other mobile devices, viruses and malware don’t plague the wireless industry the way they do the personal and business computing worlds. But computer protection software giant Symantec has decided to dive into the smartphone space regardless, in anticipation of future security threats and to stake a claim in the growing applications market.

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) today announced the launch of Norton Everywhere a suite of services and applications targeting Android and Apple iPhone devices as well the growing number of non-PC devices connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and home networks. The most familiar service in that suite is a mobile version of its Norton Antivirus software, initially for Android phones only, which identifies malicious applications and software before they’re downloaded and installed onto a device. It will also scan applications already installed on a device to see if they are doing anything suspicious, such as accessing phone logs and phone books and relaying that information across the network, and warn users about just what their apps are doing.

Norton Mobile will be available as a Beta application in June, and while Symantec is investigating optimizing the security solution for other platforms, it felt Android was the best place to start. Unlike the iPhone, which uses a closed application distribution model driven by Apple’s App Store, Android software can come from anywhere — the Web, third-party app stores, even embedded in an e-mail, said Dan Nadir, director of product management for Symantec.


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