Mobile phone doom loometh and cometh

You can’t have a computer show without a bod from a security outfit popping out of the woodwork to say we are all doomed.

The Mobile World Congress show has been big on releasing shedloads of new mobile technology but also seems to have attracted its fair share of doom merchants.

Smartphones are under a growing menace from cyber-criminals seeking to hack into web-connected handsets, but the mobile industry has contained the threat so far, security experts said.

Raining on everyone’s parade was Mikko Hyppoenen, chief research officer at F-Secure, which makes anti-virus software for mobile phones which clearly too few people buy.

He warned that tomorrow we could see a worm on phones which would go around the world in five minutes. We guess that is before truth has got its boots on.

Hyppoenon admitted that could have happened already, it just hasn’t.

“I do think that sooner or later it will happen, but when? Well that I cannot tell you,” he helpfully told hacks.

He said that security companies have been able to delay the first significant outbreak by more than five years, at least.

The first mobile virus appeared six years ago, and so far F-Secure has detected only 430 mobile worms. This compares to millions of computer viruses.

Eugene Kaspersky, founder and chief executive of software protection firm Kaspersky Labs, said that malware is developed to make more money. It doesn’t matter if it’s computers or smartphones.

He agrees that a wave of financial assaults are just around the corner.