With all the noise surrounding security vendors entering the mobile market to fight viruses, Verizon says it doesn't see a need for its customers to install antivirus software on mobile phones. Verizon is right that threats are low today in light of the fact that there is not one dominant OS platform and that mobile phones pretty much incorporate a push-and-pull method of downloading information from the Internet. But as phones become a virtual PC in the hand, that significantly increases the threat of viruses. In fact, Gartner suggests a widespread attack could happen by the end of next year.
The vendors announcing their progress in the mobile industry have been accused of fear mongering to get their software sold, but most of the ones I talk to are realistic about the threat. They say they're just preparing for the inevitable when mobile phones coalesce around a couple of dominant OS platforms. We're already seeing a high infection rate of non-malicious viruses, meaning virus makers are testing the platforms out.
For more about the mobile-phone virus potential:
- check out this article from CNET