A McAfee study has indicated that there were five times more security attacks on mobile telephone operators in 2006 than in the previous year.
The survey, conducted among 200 mobile operators worldwide, says that 83% reported some kind of mobile malware attack on their subscribers last year.
According to the report, the majority of these attacks were in Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim where the number of operators reporting incidents affecting more than 1 000 devices doubled.
McAfee says that 70% of the respondents indicated that their biggest worry was the effect attacks would have on their reputation, especially when it comes to reliably delivering transaction-based and content-based service such as music downloads, a major revenue source for them.
"This research clearly demonstrates that mobile security is moving quickly up the industry agenda, with the number of malware incidents rising," says Victor Kouznetsov, McAfee's senior vice-president for mobile security. "As mobile data use and functionality proliferates, security is becoming an essential enabler for the success of new revenue-generating services."