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Mobile phones next target for hackers

Is your mobile safe?
Is your mobile safe?

With mobile phones becoming more like little computers every day, researchers believe it's just a matter of time before hackers get their filthy paws all over your private stuff.

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology believe mobile phones could be turned into 'botnets' and be used to bring down important websites or organisations, and with the nascent nature of mobile internet, handsets could be easier to infect.

Mobile phone botnets could be used in a different way to PCs as well, for instance calling premium rate numbers without the owner knowing or automatically buying ringtones from specific sites.

Money without risk

"The question is can they do it effectively - make a lot of money without much risk?" said botnet expert Joe Stewart, Director of Malware Research with SecureWorks, according to MSN tech & gadgets.

"And if they can, then they will do it."

Companies like Symantec have already begun developing software to combat viruses and botnets on smartphones, but the problem is these programmes need to run constantly, which eats battery life.

Makes you wish the days of cranking a handset on the wall and shouting operator into the mouthpiece were back, eh?