January 18, 2001, 1:21 PM — SECURITY SOFTWARE COMPANY Finjan Software announced the release of an application on Tuesday to protect computer systems from attacks launched from PDAs (personal data assistants).
San Jose, Calif.-based Finjan's SurfinShield Corporate monitors the behavior of executable programs synchronized from Palm Pilots to corporate PCs, according to a company release. The application looks for active Web content, such as ActiveX, Java scripts, and executable programs coming in over a synchronization link to a PDA, and prevents content that breaches security policies, such as attempting to delete a file or open a network connection.
Researchers at anti-virus software companies discovered two viruses in September that affect Palm operating systems. The "Liberty Crack" Trojan horse program can potentially wipe all the files from a Palm handheld computer but is considered by experts a low risk for permanent damage. The more malicious "Palm OS/Phage" virus fills a device's screen with a gray box, ends the application that is running, and then duplicates itself to other applications. Phage is considered a "wireless" virus because it can be transmitted via infra-red beam link to another computer.
In August, Network Associates' McAfee division released McAfee VirusScan Wireless. The application runs on PCs and scans incoming data from PDAs, looking for viruses.
George A. Chidi is a Boston-based correspondent for the IDG News Service, an InfoWorld affiliate.