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Dangerous mobile phone viruses surge

McAfee: over 1 million attacks reported last year

Viruses and spam attacks targeting mobile phone users are on the increase, says McAfee.

According to the security firm's annual mobile phone report, over half of all handset manufacturers have reported instances of malware and spam attacks on mobile phones. In 2008, 17 percent of the world's handset manufacturers reported a total of over one million attacks.

"Overall, there has been a dramatic upswing in the number of incidents across all the major threat categories - including exploits that affected manufacturers' device functionality, users' privacy and even network or service capacity - in many cases by more than double over the last year," said McAfee.

McAfee also revealed there been an increase in third party applications and content which is being prematurely released and causing network capacity issues or even crashing and locking devices.

As a result, the report claimed 70 percent of handset manufacturers feel addressing mobile security is a top priority.

"Attempts to make the mobile ecosystem more open have shown early signs of success yet attacks on mobile networks and devices continue to grow in both complexity and sophistication," said Victor Kouznetsov, senior vice president of McAfee Mobile Security.

"It is encouraging to see that mobile manufacturers are looking to regain control of providing security functionality to safeguard their users."

See also: Barclays' mobile users get free Kaspersky security

Visit Mobile Advisor for the latest mobile phone news, reviews, tips & tricks, as well as PC Advisor's unique Apple iPhone 3G Spotlight


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