Malware Strikes Windows Mobile Apps

Justin Kerr

Microsoft has the unfortunate reputation of being more vulnerable than most when it comes to security exploits, so I'm sure the boys in Redmond were cringing just a bit more than usual when they discovered that malware was infecting Windows Mobile phones as well. According to Cnet , the applications "3D Anti-Terrorist game, PDA Poker Art, and Codec pack for Windows Mobile 1.0" all contain an auto dialer program that makes calls to random numbers in countries such as Somalia and the South Pole.

Microsoft representatives were understandably concerned about the news, but even we are forced to admit that it's not really their fault since users are voluntarily downloading and installing the infected applications. "Users need to be aware of what they are downloading and make sure it is a reputable source and from a reputable developer." While we don't know the exact number of users who were infected, even Microsoft was forced to admit that it could be the beginning of a trend. "What took 15 years for malware to evolve on the desktop is accelerated on the mobile platform."  "We're seeing it move from early proof-of-concept (malware) to things that are driving profit."

Of course this also points out the ideological differences between platforms such as Windows Mobile and Android that allow you to download any application you want, and the iPhone approach where each app is tested an analyzed prior to approval. Do you think mobile platforms should be locked down the way Steve Jobs envisions, or do people who download apps from shady sources deserve what they get?

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