AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

Summary: According to AT&T enterprise head John Stankey, the company is planning its own security service to protect its customers against mobile viruses.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Security, AT&T
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With Android malware up 400 percent, there should be no doubt that the mobile space is quickly becoming the most enticing target for malignant software.

Fortunately, AT&T has taken notice. Reuters reports that the company is planning its own security service to protect its customers against mobile viruses.

The announcement could not come at a better time. In March, Google removed more than fifty Android applications that had been taken over by malware and distributed on the Android Market. Attackers had used the applications to obtain a variety of information, possibly including the personal details stored on phones. While Google was able to remove the applications from both the Android Market and affected phones, the incident served as a clear reminder that not even Google's anti-malware measures were foolproof.

Other hacked applications have been reported to take over the texting messaging capabilities of phones, and in the process racking up massive data charges.

AT&T enterprise head John Stankey said that the company would likely launch their service in 2012. Though he did not announce whether it would be a paid service, Stankey did note that a security service would become an easier sell as customers become more aware of the virus issues facing mobile platforms.

[Via Reuters]

Topics: Mobility, Security, AT&T

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7 comments
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  • The burning question: Will AT&T charge for it?

    On one hand, AT&T offering a service - ANY service - for free sounds too good to be true. If Symantec can make its living off keeping platforms secure, what's to say that AT&T won't at the carrier level.

    On the other hand, it behooves AT&T to bake the service into the bill, as it comes across as a value-add against other companies and prevents huge customer service debacles and excessive network traffic, both of which can become very costly very easily.

    Joey
    voyager529
    • RE: AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

      @voyager529 <br>Totally disagree <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/shocked.gif" alt="shocked"><br><br>ATT does not have the best track record at rolling out and maintaining anything!!<br><br>Let me choose to add what I want.<br>What I do not want is another forced I have to pay for service from the carrier. <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/plain.gif" alt="plain">
      rhonin
    • RE: AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

      @voyager529 They didn't say it would be free.

      Knowing AT&T, it definitely won't be.
      dazzlingd
    • RE: AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

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      upinson
  • RE: AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

    Put a number on it, going from 1 to 4 is a 400% increase
    The 400% is useless
    mrlinux
    • RE: AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

      @mrlinux True but given the number of Android handsets out in the wild it is quite reasonable to assume that there is more than 1 or 2 affected handsets out there. After all not that long ago there was 20+ applications found within the Google App marketplace that were full of malware and if you figure that each app was downloaded at least 100x... well that's 2,000 affected devices right there.

      While I'm happy to see AT&T take this issue seriously and be proactive rather than reactive I do have some questions about this: Is AT&T going to charge for this service? If so will they charge those who use Android devices or all smartphones?
      athynz
      • RE: AT&T readies security service to counter the mobile virus threat

        @athynz
        There is a significant difference between virus / malware and social....
        Anti-Virus? Hmmmmmm
        rhonin