Mobile phones are next stop on cyber criminals path

Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure's director, has just written a book about the detection of viruses and other malware, and how best to tackle them.

In the book, he goes on to say that mobile phones are now starting to become fertile ground for hackers interested in taking over distance machines, mainly because they are becoming mini-computers in their own right.

Hypponen knows what he's talking about as it was he that led the team that infiltrated the Slapper worm attack network in 2002, took down the world-wide network used by the Sobig.F worm in 2003, and was the first to warn the world about the Sasser outbreak back in 2004.

The F-Secure supremo says that mobile phones are fertile territory for cybercriminals to harvest millions from the unsuspecting. Criminals, he says, can take control of phones using botnets, without the knowledge of owners, and use their stored numbers to send SMS spam.

But it could get worse. Later this year a new service called MobileATM will be launched by the Link interchange network, which controls switching between most of the UK's ATM network.

The MobileATM service will allow users of mobiles to do most of what you can already do at an ATM - except draw cash, of course - but using a mobile handset.

And if a mobile is remotely hijacked by a hacker, you can begin to think of the consequences...