View Full Version : The Only to Fear is Fear Itself: The Symbian Anti-Virus Situation


Ewan
10-02-2005, 11:16 AM
Steve Litchfield is a lot more worried about the growing problem of hype than about the viruses themselves? (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/viewarticle.php?id=146) Who's to blame for the explosion of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt'? Find out, in another of Steve's editorial columns.

SwitchBlade
10-02-2005, 12:45 PM
Another nice one of Steve's pieces. I'd like to point out that when I looked at their site F-secure were still taking a sensible view to it all, but then their AV software was a free download. Unlike the others charging money for applications that remove test software that's not existant in the real world.

slitchfield
10-02-2005, 02:37 PM
I'd like to point out that when I looked at their site F-secure were still taking a sensible view to it all, but then their AV software was a free download. Unlike the others charging money for applications that remove test software that's not existant in the real world.

Well, it's a free 30 day 'trial'. I guess that's enough to put people's minds at rest though. After they've scanned their phone for the 50th time that month and seen '0 viruses found, 0 viruses removed', they'll probably pass on the purchase 8-)

Steve

SwitchBlade
10-02-2005, 02:55 PM
Ah didn't mention trial and I didn't see any links to purchase a "full" version.

slitchfield
10-02-2005, 05:26 PM
Ah didn't mention trial and I didn't see any links to purchase a "full" version.

http://www.f-secure.com/estore/avmobile.shtml

Looks pretty commercial to me 8-))

Steve

Rafe
10-02-2005, 08:33 PM
To be fair F-Secure probably are the best out there. They do at least publish information of the virii found on their website (and are often first with the news on their blog). And they do offer a number of free removal tools too (IIRC).

I guess if I were to install an anti virus program it would be from F-Secure.

Jpop
11-02-2005, 12:11 AM
3 Cheers for Steve for, once again, delivering the goods (truth without fear) to his comrades in the Symbian/Psion universe.

Many thanks,

j

bertq60
11-02-2005, 05:15 AM
I've got a problem with all those nice editorials from Steve. Yes, there are no viruses yet able to go into your phone without giving 3-4 warnings to the users, yes it's over-hyped, yes it's much more dangerous in windows platform.
But one thing that should be kept in mind. With your phone you can make calls. And you can call to some very expensive numbers. That won't happen with Windozes. The worst the viruses will do is to flush your entire hardisk.It's going waste you a lot of time, but won't cost you much. So the security problem in phones has to be taken very seriously.
I don't think it's safe to say "There is NO way your phone can be victim of a virus". There is going to be some ways, at some point. Let's keep being vigilant. I feel a "Currently no viruses are known to transmit without user interaction, so risk is very low, but stay alert." would be more appropriate. If the guys at f-secure detect a virus and manage to get their SW to block it before it comes to my phone, I'd be very very happy.
I do not have an antivirus on my phone. It's useless for me, since I'm reading AAS everyday and I'm going to be aware of a security threat before it hits me. However, my mother just use her phone as a phone and if she would have a smart phone I would definitely install her some anti-virus, just in case.

slitchfield
11-02-2005, 07:51 AM
I do not have an antivirus on my phone. It's useless for me, since I'm reading AAS everyday and I'm going to be aware of a security threat before it hits me. However, my mother just use her phone as a phone and if she would have a smart phone I would definitely install her some anti-virus, just in case.

But it's unlikely your mum would be browsing warez sites, so she's not going to pick up any malware that way. And just tell her not to accept any incoming emails or beamed applications, in exactly the same way as you currently tell her not to open any strange email attachments.

My wife is a good case in point. If her 7650 popped up a message saying 'Accept incoming connection', she probably wouldn't, she'd ask me what it meant. Even if she said 'Yes', she'd *definitely* stop and ask when it came to 'Installation security warning: Unable to verify supplier. Continue anyway?' and 'Install Cabir'. Novice users operate under a cloud of FUD and they stop and panic as soon as they see anything unexpected.

All those 'infected' users in the Far East aren't beginners, they're semi-experienced smartphone owners who like installing apps and love warez, mainly games. Take away the warez element and who would ever get infected, anywhere, anytime?

Steve Litchfield

Rafe
11-02-2005, 10:54 AM
Its also worth pointing out that PC's do have such things as Trojan dialiers (programs that phone up via dial up modems)...

I think the point remains there is absolutely no way to get an executable program onto the phone unless the user explicitly allows it.

SwitchBlade
11-02-2005, 11:23 AM
I believe there's no point advising people to get an anti-virus until a point where there is a virus with a sensible payload (corrupts your files, sends large garbage MMS messages to all your contacts, etc). At the moment they aren't worth worrying about. To make me worry there needs to be a virus, in the wild, that will hinder my phone without me realising about what it's doing. Or failing that something irritating like the classic Virii such as "Ghost" which remapped your keys and inverted all your mouse movements on the Atari ST.

eminemence
11-03-2005, 06:06 AM
Just my two cents..
The other day here in India there was a report in a major daily about some MMS based virus on Symbian phones. They had reported the F-Secure website,
what really pissed me off was this report had conveniently missed the part
where the F-Secure report had said that it was not possible to install
this thing without user confirmation. I just can't understand why create such fear
among common people about these so called viruses.
Can't blame F-Secure as they are not hiding anything , but sometimes these
newspapers guys seem to have some nexus with them... :rolleyes:
Anyway Bye.
-eminemence.