Telco Claims WAP Vulnerable to Viruses

Sophos Anti-Virus came under attack from a leading European telco last week for stating mobile phone viruses have been greatly exaggerated.

Sophos managing director Richard Baldry said WAP phones are simply not powerful enough yet to be infected by viruses. This followed a hoax virus message being distributed around the world via e-mail and appearing on mobile phone screens. The hoax text, which displays "Unavailable", falsely refers to Sophos in an attempt to be credible.

Baldry's statement drew an angry response from Aaron Sault, business process design manager of T-Motion, a division of Deutsche Telekom, who labelled the WAP statement as 'naive'.

Sault said the WAP network is almost as prone to viruses as the Web network but WAP portal managers have greater control over content and application integrity.

"This minimises the possibility of viruses being spread to the WAP user but with more unrestricted services being offered this virus risk will increase," he said.

"WAP technology has been growing far more quickly than Web technology in recent months and it is perceived that mobile phone technology will soon surpass the Web; already WAP is using Java enabled WML and we are already testing Web HTML in a mobile network."

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