Around 500 viruses and malware that target mobile phones have been identified.
According to a report in the San Jose Mercury, phones are vulnerable to the same types of security threats from malware that face PCs. It claimed that as phones mirror the capabilities of PCs, the greater the chance that they will have similar vulnerabilities.
The most common handset virus is Commwarrior-A, a piece of malware identified in 2005 that spread to phones using the then-current version of the Symbian operating system via text messages.
Security experts worry hackers could soon use the GPS feature built into many phones to track the location of their owners. Reports show that hackers have already induced phones to exchange text messages with rogue operators that charge a high per-message fee.
The paper further claimed that a new generation of spyware called ‘snoopware' could eventually be used to turn on the microphone or camera on a phone, allowing a hacker to listen in on phone owners' conversations or see their surroundings.