Bluefire plans a new cell phone security app
The mobile security company introduces its consumer software to Windows Mobile phones in a private beta.
Bluefire's bid joins them to the ranks of other security vendors who have created mobile versions of their desktop apps. I got a chance to preview Mobile Defender at CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas. The app, currently available in private beta for Windows Mobile phones, has a simple four-button interface, with each button corresponding to an element of protection--firewall, SMS and MMS spam-blocking, an application protection shield that guards against auto-installing malware, and a feature to remotely wipe the contents of the handheld should it get stolen or irreversably corrupted.
Mobile Defender is of the "set and forget" variety, which means that after you install it, it pretty much runs on its own. Bluefire intentionally withheld tweaking options, which Mark Kominsky, Bluefire's CEO, explained as a big usability win to keep users from worrying if a lack of configuration knowledge is somehow crippling their coverage. Pro users who enjoy customizing their settings would disagree.
While security compromises from mobile phones have been small in scale, and mostly isolated incidents, Komisnky believes that cell phones dangle attractive lures for hackers along three vectors--As mobile messaging becomes ubiquitous and malware authors propagate poisonous code in links; as mobile phone commerce takes off, and as the mobile Web becomes easier to surf from devices like the iPhone.