Tag: national science foundation

National Science Foundation predicts mobile viral epidemic


mobile virus

In Mike Lazaridis’ interview with Walt Mossberg on D7, Walt asked if RIM has seen a virus enter the BlackBerry platform. Mike shrugged and said “not to my knowledge.” Walt should have known better. Research and testing of BlackBerry devices proves that the device is the most trusted with respect to security.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a statement warning of a coming mobile virus epidemic. The NSF conducted a study where mobility data from over six million anonymous mobile phone users was used to create a comprehensive picture of the threat mobile phone viruses pose to users. The results of this study, published in the May 22 issue of Science, indicate that a highly fragmented market share has effectively hindered outbreaks thus far. Further, their work predicts that viruses will pose a serious threat once a single mobile operating system’s market share grows sufficiently large.

“We haven’t had a problem so far because only phones with operating systems, so-called ‘smart phones’, are susceptible to viral infection,” explained Marta Gonzalez, one of the authors of the publication. “Once a single operating system becomes common, we could potentially see outbreaks of epidemic proportion because a mobile phone virus can spread by two mechanisms: a Bluetooth virus can infect all Bluetooth-activated phones in a 10-30 meter radius, while Multimedia Messaging System (MMS) virus, like many computer viruses, spreads using the address book of the device. Not surprisingly, hybrid viruses, which can infect via both routes, pose the most significant danger.”

While RIM dominates in enterprise sales, and they’re seeing an increase in consumer adoption, it isn’t far fetched to see BlackBerry devices becoming the most prevalent smartphone globally. If this is the case, a mobile viral epidemic is of no concern.