Mobiles to get virus protection

CeBIT: Russian antivirus firm Kaspersky is developing a service to shield some mobile phone users from viruses

Antivirus company Kaspersky is preparing to release antivirus software for smartphones that use the Symbian operating system.

Mobile phone viruses are still relatively rare in the world, but Kaspersky's move into phone antivirus software shows it expects more to break out in the future.

Earlier this week a Trojan horse was found that targets Nokia Series 60 phones, which use Symbian. And last week, a smartphone virus called Cabir infected a handset in France, making it the seventeenth country to fall victim to the malware.

Kaspersky's mobile phone security software, which is in open beta testing, allows users to set their phone to receive regular antivirus updates, or they can download them manually from the WAP section of its Web site.

However, the software only protects devices running versions 6.1 and 7.0 of Symbian, and not the latest version, 9.0, which was launched last month. It's not clear what plans Kaspersky has to protect Symbian 9.0 phones.

The company has pledged to give a free version of the software to anyone who participates in testing.

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