No security threat to cell phones, but…

By : |August 31, 2000 0

BANGALORE: The recent hacker attacks on cellular handsets and the subsequent fear that after computer networks, the hacker tribe was now focusing on wired and wireless telephony networks, were false alarms. This was stated by Symantec Asia Pacific vice president Garry Sexton. While speaking to CIOL Bureau, he said, “There is no perceived threat at the moment.”


Mr Sexton said that Symantec was carrying out research to find out the extent to which hackers have been able to access the handsets. “So far, we have not been able to establish a case of the handsets getting hacked in the true sense,” he said. Mr Sexton, however, added that as cellular phones will become more pervasive and get connected to the Internet and other devices, they will open themselves to hacker attacks. “They will become a security risk, later,” he said.


Symantec, which provides security solutions to enterprise networks and consumer systems, is proactively looking at the activities of the hackers on the Net and attempts to prevent such attacks, said Mr Sexton.


According to him, Symantec, globally, receives reports of about 200 viruses every month. “We have seen that the hacking mechanism has more or less remained unchanged over the years. What has changed is the delivery mode. Earlier, it used to be through floppy. Then with the advent of networking, the delivery of viruses has shifted to e-mail and hacking. The biggest challenge for network security firms such as Symantec is to remove the loopholes in all these delivery mechanisms,” Mr Sexton said.


According to him, the next generation of software is getting more and more predictive, making it easier to be broken into. Also, in an e-commerce environment, data is increasingly being opened up in order to offer accessibility to a wider segment. This has also increased the threat.

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