Latest Kaspersky mobile software wipes data via SMS

Even if a thief swaps out the SIM card, Mobile Security 8.0 will also send a message with the new number to the phone's owner

Kaspersky Lab's latest mobile security software due to be released next week can wipe data with a text message command even if a thief has swapped out the phone's SIM card.

The feature is one of several in Mobile Security 8.0 focused on protecting data as well as deleting data if a device is lost or stolen, a critical concern for businesses.

For devices with GPS, the software's SMS Find feature will send a link to a Google Map with the device's coordinates. The device owner sends an SMS with a password to receive the link, according to Kaspersky. The feature can also be used to locate a child who is carrying the phone.

Kaspersky has also woven another interesting feature into the software called the SMS Watch module. If a criminal removes the SIM card from the device, the software will send a hidden message to the owner of the phone with the new phone number, which can be used by law enforcement to track the phone, Kaspersky said.

Knowing that new number also means the device's rightful owner can use another SMS feature that can block access to the phone or wipe all of its data. The feature wasn't available in the 7.0 version of the product.

In that scenario, the phone's owner sends a special code word to the phone by SMS. The device can also be located that way.

For further data security, Mobile Security 8.0 also creates a folder on the device that for encrypted data.

Kaspersky said it has improved the antispam module, which filters out unsolicited messages and unwanted advertising. Users can also either whitelist phone numbers to accept only calls from specified contacts, or blacklist numbers, which blocks certain ones from ringing or being called.

The phone also has a parental control component that can block the device from receiving or sending messages or calling certain numbers.

The software also has an antivirus scanner and a firewall, which the company says can block malware such as mobile worms from spreading over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections. Mobile malware is not nearly as common as that which targets desktop PCs, but malware has been written that will, for example, send text

Mobile Security 8.0 will work with Symbian phones running OS 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 or Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0 and 6.1. A one-year license costs £19.99 (US$31.78) in the U.K. and $29.95 in the U.S. The software can be downloaded from Kaspersky's Web site on June 3.

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