Print 7 comment(s) - last by leexgx.. on Aug 14 at 9:14 PM

AT&T has created a snazzy infographic to warn users of the dangers of mobile botnets, illustrating the need for its security efforts.  (Source: AT&T)
New malware protection will be sourced through Juniper

It's hard to hear about AT&T Inc. (T) these days without automatically jumping to the topic of the company's controversial planned acquisition of rival network Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA.  However, AT&T is giving the tech community something else to talk about, announcing an unparalleled security drive [press release] on its network's smartphones.

AT&T had a rough year last year, security-wise.  You may recall that in June 2010 "Goatse Security" exploited a gaping vulnerability in AT&T web servers to obtain basic information on 114,000+ of AT&T's iPad customers.  Just weeks later, AT&T accidentally spilled information on iPhone 4 customers due to a technical glitch.

But AT&T appears to be finally turning the corner when it comes to security, and part of that is thanks to its recruiting outside help.  It’s teaming up with Sunnyvale, California-based security and networking firm Juniper Networks (JNPR) to provide security solutions to both its business and its individual smartphone users.

Mark Bauhaus, executive vice president and general manager of the Device and Network Services business group at Juniper Networks, describes, "We are proud to work with AT&T to help them protect their most important asset, their customers. Teaming with AT&T to bring this unique and comprehensive mobile security solution to market will enable a vast number of consumers and enterprises to have state-of-art security features in their mobile life and be better protected from malicious threats."

For consumers, the first of those state-of-the-art security features will be a smartphone application which will come with "anti-virus, anti-malware, and application monitoring and control."  AT&T said the app would be available later this year. The app is based on Juniper Networks' Junos Pulse software, which is currently available on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android OS and Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS.  It's unclear whether the software will be available this year with handsets running Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7.

The free anti-malware offering is a welcome improvement as infected Android phones have begun to be used in botnets and malware has popped up on Apple's iPhone, as well.

In addition to individual users, AT&T and Juniper Networks will offer a business suite to boost the security and manageability of business handsets.  The suite will include:

  • Maintain compliance with government regulations
  • Enforce security policies
  • Manage personal or enterprise-owned devices
  • Enable anti-virus, anti-malware, and application monitoring and control

IDC senior security analyst Christine Liebert praised the business offering, stating, "Enterprises drive employee productivity by anytime access to network resources, but the implications of data loss and malware proliferation creates real concerns for enterprise IT security. AT&T’s vision and approach to mobile security is the right one at the right time."

"AT&T is offering enterprises the ability to remotely remove or encrypt data on mobile devices and to have this function centrally administered. This should help businesses control what type of data can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet, one of the biggest enterprise security risks."

AT&T is currently the nation's second most expensive network, when it comes to most plans, behind only Verizon Wireless (VZ).  If it's going to keep prices higher, it's nice to see that it's at least giving customers more bang for their buck.  Between better security and better coverage than some smaller, cheaper networks, AT&T may just convince some customers to jump onboard with its higher prices.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Windows Phone 7 not too important
By Flunk on 8/11/2011 3:33:52 PM , Rating: 1
Security software for Windows Phone 7 isn't really as essential as one for Android or even iOS for two reasons.

1. All apps run sandboxed (quite extremely so), that is unless you hack the OS (not the audience this is aimed at anyway).
2. Obscurity, small numbers mean a less likely target.

RE: Windows Phone 7 not too important
By kleinma on 8/11/2011 3:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
phones infected with botnets just connect to command/control servers and do whatever the command/control server says. It could just be something malicious like having the phone eat data to kill peoples quotas and cost them money, leaving AT&T in a customer service mess. It could be used to send out spam, or DDOS a given target. It isn't all about stealing user data from other parts of the phone, so sandboxes only do so much.

RE: Windows Phone 7 not too important
By Flunk on 8/11/2011 4:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
Unhacked phones only run apps certified and tested by Microsoft from their marketplace, they also can't connect to the internet without the user approving it.

Have you ever even used a Windows Phone 7 device?

RE: Windows Phone 7 not too important
By jimbojimbo on 8/11/2011 5:03:14 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is people will approve it without reading it or fully understanding what it's doing. That's the main problem with every platform.

By leexgx on 8/14/2011 9:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
the app has to be certified to run at all, its not like Win6 where you can say yes to run it (unless its an hacked win7 phone)

By sprockkets on 8/11/2011 7:44:12 PM , Rating: 3
1. All apps run sandboxed

Uh, all Android and iOS apps have been sandboxed since day one.
Your point?

RE: Windows Phone 7 not too important
By CZroe on 8/11/2011 8:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Sandboxing? Are you serious? The sandboxing on iOS is laughably ineffective. Official apps can still do pretty much anything they want on your phone, they just aren't officially allowed to. We regularly hear about misbehaving iOS apps pulled from the App Store. Sometimes it's hidden functions that aren't allowed, like tethering. Other times it's doing something against Apple's guidelines, like interfacing with the volume button to take a picture or using an undocumented API. Other times, it's something out-right malicious, like a game that has no business using you location info or contact list and yet it secretly uploads them to the game creator (several COMMERCIAL iOS games were pulled for such shenanigans).

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular ArticlesSmartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
September 21, 2016, 9:52 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Update: Problem-Free Galaxy Note7s CPSC Approved
September 22, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki