RSA - Kaspersky unveils antivirus for mobile devices

Anti-Virus Mobile software will work on Symbian and Windows Mobile devices

Kaspersky Lab next week will announce new software to protect smart phones from viruses, as well as new bundles of its security software to protect devices on business networks.

The new Anti-Virus Mobile software will apply the company's antivirus screening initially to mobile devices based on the Windows Mobile and Symbian operating systems. The software will be announced at RSA Conference 2007 in San Francisco.

Anti-Virus Mobile includes signatures downloaded to the devices over their Internet connections, either via Wireless Application Protocol or HTTP. The updates can be installed using a scheduler or by hand.

The software includes screening of spam sent via Short Message Service (SMS) using filters that can allow such traffic, limit it to black or white lists only, or block all of it, says the company's CTO Eugene Kaspersky.

More malware screening will be added as it becomes more apparent which exploits mobile hackers choose to use, Kaspersky says. "We don't know which way the criminals will go," he says. "So far we have no information on [voice-specific] attacks, but with new technologies, it is probable there will be new attacks."

At the moment, Kaspersky says, neither makers of mobile devices nor service providers are taking responsibility for blocking threats. But he predicts that in the future, the security model will mimic that for computers: Hardware providers, service providers and customers all will have specialized offerings for mobile computing.

So far, Kaspersky says he has seen viruses that send SMS messages from smart phones to numbers that charge the sender. As more businesses, including banks, offer services via smart phones, criminals will pay more attention, he says.

"In the future, as prices drop and smart phones are more common, the situation will become more critical," Kaspersky says.

Anti-Virus Mobile will be available later this quarter and will cost US$30 per seat.

Meanwhile, Kaspersky Lab also is announcing bundles of its existing and new security products geared for businesses.

Called Kaspersky Open Space Suite (KOSS), the security platforms protect gateways, desktops, laptops, PDAs and smart phones. KOSS is built on Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0, which has been available to consumers since last year.

KOSS will be available in four bundles. The most basic bundle covers workstations and laptops, and the other three add, incrementally, protection for file servers, mail servers, and gateways to Web traffic.

Each of these KOSS components was available before, but this is the first time they are being bundled. Version 6.0 of the software adds a firewall that includes intrusion-detection and -prevention, as well as rootkit detection.

If the software detects malicious activity has made changes to a device, it will roll it back to an earlier configuration to eliminate the changes.

Pricing is unavailable, but KOSS will be available later this quarter.

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