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Anti-Virus software for the Palm OS

Thu Jun 8, 2000 - 11:32 AM EDT - By James Hromadka

Symantec announced today that it is developing anti-virus software for the PalmOS. From the press release:
"The ubiquitous devices and platforms that will enable the Internet to be available everywhere pose new risks and challenges," said Ron Moritz, Symantec's chief technical officer. "As corporations embrace handheld devices and extend their network, securing programs and data on new platforms will become a necessity. Our goal is to safeguard critical data against potential attacks anywhere data wants to be by providing Internet security on a variety of platforms."

According to a 1999 IDC report titled "Smart Handheld Devices Market Review and Forecast," an estimated 50 million personal handhelds will enter businesses worldwide by 2003. Additionally, Forrester Research estimates that the mobile workforce will account for 57 percent of the total workforce in the next two years -- a rise from the current 35 percent.

Although there are currently no known computer virus, worm or Trojan horse threats targeting handheld devices, the Palm OS is susceptible to malicious code like other mainstream computing platforms since it runs a wide variety of programs."
This is a timely announcement in the wake of the cell phone virus that targeted a specific Spanish cell company. As the PalmOS stands now, the only malicious attack could come from a trojan app that someone installed. As more and more Palm-compatibles go wireless, there will be more of an incentive for virus-writers to make various worms that spam other PDA users in the area.


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