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What are the prospects for smartphone security threats?

(Chad Perrin, TechRepublic) Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous, but they are still limited in their usefulness. This is actually a boon for their security, at least for now — because they have not been effectively secured well enough to replace a desktop or laptop computer for a lot of high-risk activities.

With the growing popularity of smartphones, people are beginning to speculate about whether there will be an explosion of security issues in the near future. When will the storm of viruses appear? When will smartphones — relatively low-power by the standards of personal computers, but online pretty much all the time — become a platform of choice for botnet nodes?

Some security experts are skeptical of the idea that smartphones will ever be much of a target for malicious security crackers to build botnets, or otherwise hijacking resources. Maybe the botnet threat will never materialize for the smartphone platform, because it is so limited compared to the general-purpose desktop and laptop computer. On the other hand, even if malicious security crackers are not directly targeting our smartphones yet, the ability to transfer files between a smartphone and a more general-purpose computer means that a smartphone can become an important vector for spreading viruses and other mobile malicious code.[...]

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