Kaspersky mobile software now covers Android, BlackBerry

The Android and BlackBerry versions have fewer features than the Symbian and Windows versions

Russian security vendor Kaspersky Lab has released new versions of its security software for mobile devices to cover Android and the BlackBerry OS.

The Android and BlackBerry versions released at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday have fewer features than the existing versions for Symbian and Windows Mobile, according to the technical data.

The Android and BlackBerry versions can both remotely disable a lost or stolen device and delete its data upon receipt of an SMS (Short Message Service) code.

The two versions also a have call and SMS filters, which allow users to screen which calls or messages they want to receive or set up a whitelist that defines which communication will be accepted from specific contacts.

Those are the only two features of Mobile Security 9 for the BlackBerry. Those devices already have good encryption, so Kaspersky decided to only add features it felt the platform needed, said Victor Dronov , senior product manager for mobile solutions. The BlackBerry version also lacks Kaspersky's antivirus since there is very little malware that has targeted the platform, Dronov said.

Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 7 is not covered by Mobile Security 9 since Dronov said that access to many of the low-level operating system functions are already blocked. However, Kaspersky will continue to look at the platform.

Apple's iOS 4 operating system for the iPhone is still off limits due to restrictions by the company. "When Steve Jobs wants you to have high-end security on the iPhone, we will do that," said Eugene Kaspersky, the company's founder.

Android has a few more features than are also available on the Windows and Symbian versions in Mobile Security 9. It has Kaspersky's "privacy protection" feature, which allows phonebook entries, SMSes and call logs to be hidden on the phone. Android also support Kaspersky's antivirus functions.

The Windows and Symbian versions also support encryption and parental control features. Kaspersky's software covers Symbian^3 or Series 60 devices running Symbian 9.1 through 9.4. Windows Mobile devices covered are version 5.0 through 6.5. Kaspersky's Mobile Security 9 covers Android versions 1.6 through 2.2, and BlackBerry 4.5 through 6.0.

According to Kaspersky's Web site, Mobile Security 9 sells for US$29.95 on its Web site.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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