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Safer holidays for handheld messagers

Antivirus and content security company Trend Micro has launched the trial of Mobile Security, a new security solution for SMS messaging customers who use data-centric mobile phones and PDAs.

Antivirus and content security company Trend Micro has launched the trial of Mobile Security, a new security solution for SMS messaging customers who use data-centric mobile phones and PDAs.

The launch comes after Trend Micro’s worldwide network of antivirus research centers, TrendLabs, identified proof-of-concept viruses for mobile phones earlier this year. These threats include SYMBOS_SKULLS.A, a trojan that targets Series 60 phones running the Symbian operating system (particularly Nokia’s 7610 models) and SYMBOS_CABIR.A, a worm that spreads through Bluetooth-enabled Series 60 phones. TrendLabs reckons attacks on such devices will continue in the future.

The new Mobile Security solution arrives just in time for the holiday season, when many people might be buying or receiving new handhelds as gifts. Trend Micro is offering customers its own holiday gift by providing the first edition of Mobile Security free of charge, right up until June next year.

“Many people will put hi-tech gadgets, data-centric mobile phones and PDAs on their holiday gift wish list,” explained Raimund Genes, president of EMEA Operations at Trend Micro. “As the number of people using the devices increases, so they become more enticing targets for virus writers. By offering the first version of Trend Micro Mobile Security free of charge, Trend Micro wishes to provide its customers and their data-centric devices a secure holiday season.”

Mobile Security is available for devices using Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 operating system (Pocket PC edition) and Symbian OS v7.0 (as run on Nokia and Sony Ericsson mobiles). The vendor however has yet to support the Palm OS, used in PalmOne’s handhelds and smartphones.

With an estimated global market of some 10 billion connected devices by 2005, industry analysts predict that data-centric mobile phones, PDAs and smartphones will become an increasingly attractive target for virus writers and spammers.

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