Trend Micro has updated its antivirus and anti-spam product for Symbian-based devices, which include mobile phones, smartphones and PDAs.
The company is pitching Mobile Security 2.0 as providing enhanced antivirus and SMS anti-spam protection for Series 60-based devices. Designed for enterprises that manage large numbers of Symbian devices, and service providers who have customers using Symbian smartphones, the product adds managed updates and scalable subscriber provisioning.
Although Trend identified proof-of-concept viruses for mobile phones in 2004, Symbian's executive vice-president of research, David Wood, stressed that virus protection for Series 60 is currently more akin to insurance than the necessity that it has become for PCs.
"Getting a virus checker is currently an insurance policy," said Wood. "Whereas on a PC you're dead without it — there is a sea of malware out there for PCs. There is no sea of malware for mobile phones as yet, but people will try. There will be more and more phones that will be richly programmable, and the huge numbers make them an attractive target."
Wood stressed that there is no back door for malware to get into the Symbian operating system — a virus could only get onto a Symbian device if the user actively allowed it. So even though proof-of concept malware such as Cabir (which spreads through Bluetooth) and CommWarrior (which spreads via Bluetooth and MMS) exist, it would be relatively easy to keep such malware from invading a smartphone.
"We learnt from the PC. So far, the software engineering has held up on the Symbian OS but you can never be sure about the future," added Wood. "So a belt-and-braces approach is a reasonable insurance policy for people who want to install lots of applications."