Hackers Target New Wave of Mobile Phones

by : J Tillotson

Now the long-awaited iPhone is finally available on our shores, it's set to be the most popular Christmas gift of 2007. But it has sparked a little controversy, as any new gadget will do.

The first issue the iPhone has raised is that of unlocking. In the US where the phone first appeared, keeping phones locked to a particular network is fairly standard procedure. In the UK however, people just will not tolerate a market comprising of unlockable handsets.

Being able to switch network providers once your contract is up is what keeps the mobile phones market healthy and in competition. Without that, we may see prices of call packages rising. Unlocked phones are also seen an useful to travellers, as they just need to purchase a sim card for the country they're in and it will work in that country, instead of having to buy new phones all the time.

A country in Northern Ireland has discovered how to unlock the iPhone, which has led to a legal battle between companies wishing to offer an unlocked version, and AT&T, iPhone's original network, who are threatening to sue anyone offering to unlock their iPhone. Unlocking is seen as copyright infringement by many phone network companies as it overrides the programming done by the original network.

The second problem associated with the iPhone is the hacker. There is a race on in the hacking world to see who can be the first to break into this new platform.

The race to unlock it has already been won by a 17 year old schoolboy in America, and now hackers are competing to be the first to infiltrate it with malware. Because it uses a form of Mac OS X viruses can be written for both the AppleMac and the iPhone, and uploaded from one to the other.

The first virus will most likely be done just for the sake of it, but experts anticipate more malicious software will follow as the handset becomes more popular and mainstream.

With all this in mind, there's something to be said for the peace of mind in owning cheap mobile phones that nobody would think of hacking!