September 18, 2003
They aren’t here yet, but computer experts have warned that Internet viruses and worms are heading for your cellphone.
‘‘We saw a whole lot of trouble-making viruses on the Net, such as the MS Blaster worm and Sobig recently,’’ Professor G. Sivakumar, head of the computer science centre at IIT, Mumbai, told The Indian Express. ‘‘Until now, they could affect PCs with Internet connections, but now with Net connectivity for cellphones, there is a possibility of worms attacking your cell.’’ That means mobiles too will need firewalls — secure software — to block attacks.
‘‘Customisation of cell handsets will have to be undertaken if cell users want to surf the Net,’’ said senior product manager of anti-virus firm Symantec, Norman Kohlberger, recently. Technical expert Shams Islam of Tend Micro said virus creators like maximum damage, which is why Bill Gates’ Microsoft is the most popular target. ‘‘But you can go to websites such as Yahoo and Hotmail from your cellphone and also conduct Net chat on messenger services, so cell worms are coming,’’ said Islam. Like many, he stores much information in his cellphone: credit-card details, official passwords and of course phone numbers.
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