In the beginning of May, 2000 I was working as the Director of Information Systems for a cool Internet company. As this was the time of excessive fun at technology companies, my team and I were really looking forward to the company Cinco de Mayo party. At a company where “Beer O’Clock” included a cart full of beer being pushed through the ultra-modern loft office so developers, project managers and designers could comfortably finish their hard day’s work, the parties were really something special. Unfortunately, the highly publicized and globally impacting I Love You/Love Letter worm changed our plans. My team and I literally spent that first week of May, including Cinco de Mayo, working around the clock to restore computer systems and servers, instead of drinking tequila and Coronas.
Moving forward 10 years, I find it disheartening that the hard-learned lessons of the past, including those resulting from “I Love You”, are being forgotten when it comes to mobile devices. Let’s think about the “I Love You” worm:
Few would dispute that mobile devices – Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc. – are actually mobile computers performing the same functions as traditional laptop and desktop computers. Notwithstanding, the lessons from “I Love You” and other infections are being forgotten, while new lessons are being ignored. Consider the following:
“RIM Warns Update Has Spyware”
Dark Side Arises for Phone Apps
SANS study: One in five mobile devices running malware
Mobile malware is certainly a real and growing problem that needs to be addressed today. With mobile devices having the same capabilities of laptop computers, performing the same functions and constantly having data and applications installed by non-security minded end-users in the absence of any security software installed on the mobile computing device, there is certainly a ripe environment for exploitation that needs to be addressed. The question becomes are you opting to ignore and explain away the threat, or are you willing to recognize the signs that a growing concern is at hand and will take the necessary action. Having directly been affected by malware in the past, I’ve opted to address the threat and install security software on my mobile devices.
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