More Zombie Killer Mobile Virus Press Releases

Back in January, I wrote my predictions for the year, one of which was

More and more mobile virus stories will hit the headlines. Only for the real story to emerge that to catch one you’d have to be as unlucky as to get struck by lightening on a clear day while standing in a rubber suit at the bottom of a swimming pool.

The normally excellent ZDNews has another of these non-stories, which appears to be nothing more than a Symantec Press Release, reprinted unquestioningly and practically verbatim.

The thrust of the “article” is that most Americans are aware of the threat of viruses on their phone. But who couldn’t be when an obliging press reprints every scare story circulated by the virus protection companies?

Despite this awareness, most users don’t seem to take the threat very seriously.

Here’s a typical statement:

While the spread of such malicious software has been negligible so far, some security companies have become concerned about the possible rise of Trojan horses and other attacks targeting smartphones.

Note the word “negligible”.


“We do see more smartphone threats coming in the future, but for now, your PC is probably under much greater risk of attack,” he [ Matt Ekram, mobile security product manager at Symantec] said

Hey – don’t tell anyone, but the reason these companies exist is to sell anti-virus software. Therefore, these press releases are just trying to soften us up for their marketing messages.

In order to install Cabir, you have to be unlucky enough to get it first. You’re more likely to get pecked to death by a passing duck, quite frankly.

Then you’re asked if you want to install an application you haven’t downloaded on purpose and don’t know what it is. If you’re stupid enough to press “yes” the first time, you’re then asked if you really want to do this, again.

So if you do manage to install it after this, you deserve it, as you’re officially a moron and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a mobile phone.

I’m not saying that mobile viruses won’t ever be a threat, but until they are, please can we stop trying to make a story when there simply isn’t one?

In other words, can we stop rehashing press releases and try and remember what journalism is?

End of rant.

Have a great weekend. Here in Bavaria, we have the Maypole raising ceremonies. This is preceded the night before by everyone guarding the Maypole from being kidnapped by rival villages. And everyone knows that guarding is done much better while drinking beer, so everyone must reluctantly drink for the safety of the Maypole.

If your Maypole is guarded too fiercely and you can’t stop the other villages pinching it, you have to pay them a ransom of …. beer. You probably guessed that part.


Image from Flickr

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