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Hackers will target iPhone and Android in 2010, says Kaspersky

Warwick Ashford

Cybercriminals are likely to target both Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating systems for mobile phones in 2010, according to researchers at security firm Kaspersky Lab.

The first malicious programs for these mobile platforms appeared in 2009, which is a sure sign that they have aroused the interest of cybercriminals, they said.

The relatively harmless Ikee worm was the first iPhone malware to appear, but was quickly followed by the more malicious Ikee.B and iPhone/Privacy.A.

Ikee.B is designed to give control of iPhones to botnets, while Privacy.A enables hackers to copy personal information recorded by any iPhone app.

Although the only iPhone users at risk are those using devices that have been modified or "jailbroken" to run unauthorised software, the same is not true for Android users, who are all vulnerable to attack, said the Kaspersky researchers.

The increasing popularity of mobile phones running the Android OS in China, combined with a lack of effective checks to ensure third-party software applications are secure will lead to high-profile malware outbreaks, the researchers said.

The number of Android users is also likely to increase in 2010 following the release of the Nexus One, Google's first mobile phone.

Google has moved into the hardware market and launched its widely anticipated first mobile phone, which will be available in the UK through Vodafone.

The Nexus One, to be made available in the UK through Vodafone, is expected to be a rival to the iPhone and will run on Android 2.1.


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