Textually Transmitted Diseases on the Rise

Yes — we have officially entered the age of the Textually Transmitted Disease. Last September a virus spread across China, infecting more than 1 million smartphones. This virus dubbed ‘Zombie‘ infiltrated phones and began sending spam messages using the phone’s address book. While this is still shy of being a full-blown TTD, we are well on our way.

Internet security companies expect these viruses to spike as smartphone sales and use increases. Top security firm McAfee has reported that mobile phone malware increased by 46% from 2009 to 2010. Other Internet security companies have noticed the spike as well and attribute much of it to the vulnerabilities in the apps and widgets. ViaForensics noted that even the more famous apps have security flaws including Groupon, Facebook and Mint.com. In fact a large number of the 11 billion+ apps downloaded last year put users information at risk, as do 10 out of the 12 email apps tested.

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