Will your phone need an anti-malware app?
Mobile device security has been in the news constantly of late. From some who claim that the Android platform is where the malware action is to one of Google’s lead developers, Chris DiBona claiming that anyone trying to sell anti-malware protection for the Android operating system was a charlatan and a scammer.
As Bruce Schneier points out, mobile devices will be the new juicy targets – simply because phones host data such as location, contacts and, as your phone becomes your digital wallet, your finances. Of course malware is going to target the phone in future just as it targets the phone today. It doesn’t matter what phone OS you are running – though from a “bang for your buck” perspective, malware authors are going to target the platforms with the greatest market share first – just as they always have.
The question is - are you better off using some sort of anti-malware product that automatically updates itself with new definitions and heuristics, or will you be better off waiting for carriers to approve updates to mobile phone operating systems (something that can take months, if at all) that plug the most recently found security holes? My bet is that in the long run, anti-malware software on mobile phones and tablets will be as necessary as anti-malware software on desktops and laptops. These devices are targets. These devices do hold juicy information. Unless a vendor has another way of rolling out operating system updates to deal with zero day exploits, anti-malware software is likely to be your best bet.