Symantec ships Mobile AntiVirus 4.0

Updated software to protect Windows-based handsets

Symantec has announced an updated version of its Mobile AntiVirus software to protect Windows-based smart phones and mobile handsets based on Windows Mobile 5.0 and the earlier Windows Mobile 2003.

The enterprise version of Mobile AntiVirus for Windows Mobile 5.0, which supports Symantec's LiveUpdate via cellular service, includes a management console that can report device activity and schedule scanning and updates, according to Tim Boyd, product marketing manager. However, the Mobile AntiVirus 4.0 is a separate management console from that used with Symantec's desktop antivirus products, a problem Symantec hopes to resolve in future releases, said Boyd.

"It's a matter of scheduling to pull these consoles together," he noted, add it won't be especially hard to combine the XML-based report files from the Mobile AniVirus console with Symantec's management system for the desktop.

Also, unlike Symantec's desktop antivirus which includes antispyware functionality, the Mobile AntiVirus 4.0 software is very limited in that regard, Boyd acknowledged. Today, viruses are rare for smart phones, said Boyd, but the concern is that the market success of the latest generation of Windows-based mobile devices will spur interest in some devising viruses for them.

"Those people can easily migrate those over to the mobile platform," said Boyd. Next year Symantec plans to add additional capabilities, including a firewall, for its mobile-security product line.

The enterprise version of Mobile AntiVirus 4.0 costs about US$48 per seat, while the consumer version of Mobile AntiVirus 4.0, expected to ship in early December, costs about US$30.

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