AdaptiveMobile wins deal with STC’s Aljawal

Saudi mobile firm installs filtering device to tackle rise of spam and viruses via handsets.

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By  Michele Howe Published  August 30, 2007

AdaptiveMobile has scored its first customer in the region with a deal to supply its security filtering service to Saudi mobile company Aljawal.

The Dublin-headquartered company will provide Aljawal with its PolicyFilter MMS product which filters all multi-media messages passed over Aljawal's network, approximately 20 million a week, identifying and deleting spam and viruses in the process.

Graeme Baker, general manager vice president sales at AdapativeMobile Middle East, said mobile service providers are increasingly starting to offer protection against viruses and spam to subscribers.

"It is something that has gained momentum over the last year. The level of interest in this region [in this type of product] has gone up dramatically," he told ITP.net.

He added that as well as Aljawal, the firm was in negotiations with other operators in the region to supply the PolicyFilter MMS product.

Virus writers are increasingly targeting mobiles as a new outlet for viruses and spam attacks, although a real mobile epidemic is still some way off, according to security experts.

"Currently, there is no threat of a global epidemic caused by mobile malware," Alisa Shevchenko virus analyst at Kaspersky said. "However, the threat may become real a couple of years down the line - this is approximately how long it will take for the number of smartphones, experienced virus writers and platform standardization to reach critical mass."

The interface Bluetooth, which is widely used in the Middle East, is a particular risk in the transmission of viruses - around 85% of viruses come through Bluetooth, according to Baker.

Once a virus arrives on a handset, it typically either implants itself on the device and sends MMS and SMS, or it exports information from the handset, for example, from the address book, or it attaches itself to an MMS and self-replicates.

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