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Kaspersky ships antivirus tool for cell phones

Russian security firm is the latest to offer a product for mobile devices, a huge potential market.

Russian antivirus specialist Kaspersky Lab on Monday released Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile, a product designed to shield mobile phones against malicious software. The security software is available for phones that run the Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems, the company said in a statement. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Mobile monitors wireless connections and scans text messages as well as any data received from a PC during synchronization, Kaspersky Lab said.

Kaspersky is the latest security firm to offer a product for mobile devices. Others, including F-Secure, Symantec, Trend Micro and McAfee, also have products out. While threats to mobile devices have been largely theoretical, makers of security software are eager to get their products onto handsets because it is a huge potential market. About 812 million mobile handsets--such as cell phones and smart phones--were sold in 2005, according to market researcher Gartner. That compares with an estimated 219 million PCs in the same period.