PalmGear has recently advertised a Palm OS antivirus tool heavily. These programs came up approximately once a year and – as always – mainly benefit the manufacturer by making him rich. We covered Palm OS virii at TamsPalm’s more than once, and here are a few interesting articles:

Why Palm OS virii are rare and will stay so
This article looks at a simple and hardcore reason why the Palm OS is a bad platform for virii. Yeah, a few compaines have announced multitasking capability; but until their libraries get public, we should be safe..
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2006/02/01/why-palm-os-virii-are-rare-and-will-stay-so/

Oh no – my Palm doesnt run antivirus software
This article looks at how rare Palm OS virii really are.
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2004/12/13/oh-no-my-palm-doesnt-run-anti-virus-software/

Once again:

You DONT need an antivirus program for your Palm

I hope that this story is dead for another year…

Related posts:

  1. More on Series 60 spy tools/virii
  2. Palm OS virii – the definitive list
  3. Why Palm OS virii are rare and will stay so
  4. Palm OS Virii-the definitve list
  5. News on mobile virii

19 Responses to “Palm OS antivirus tools are USELESS because there are NO VIRII”

  1. You dont need multi-tasking to run and propagate viruses. DOS seemed to to have no problem running viruses.;

    Surur

  2. Hi! I recently discussed this same idea in my Palm blog posting:

    http://palmdiscovery.netfirms.com/nfblog/index.php?p=206

    Even if a Windows or other platform virus like Symbian gets in a Palm, it’s unlikely (unless the virus writer has made it to work in the Palm OS environment) that it will do much harm on the Palm. If we can recall, Palm can only recognise prc and pdb files. All other extensions are unknown to them.

  3. Only two reasons I can see for a PalmOS antivirus app:

    1. From stopping viruses that might pass through a PDA from one PC to another (this app might take up too many resources).

    2. A corporate security policy.

  4. I agree with Donald. I download email from my ISP directly to my Treo 650. Naturally, I get spam that is loaded with viruses – the attachments are filed on the SD card which doesn’t bother me, but as soon as I connect the Treo to my work PC as a flash drive, the company anti-virus scans the disk, finds the virus and sends off messages to the IT dept saying there’s a virus infection.

    This never makes me popular.

  5. Hi,
    the problem is that the scanner only looks for Palm OS virii, not for desktop ones. There are way too many desktop virii to look at those…

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  6. There are 4 Other reasons why Antivirus is useless on a PDA

    A Suspicious PRC file is easier to detect, there are far less files in a PDA, and most don’t have folders.

    A PDA is backed up more then a PC.

    The worst virus will have to be one that erases the small ROM(I don’t think thats going to happen)

    A Palm User that gets a little too expermental causes more data loss (like “what will happen if I uncheck “resource database” in Filez, or “what happens if I delete psyslaunchdatabase”…)

  7. Hi,
    the problem I see if is the virus is smart enough to also attack the PC data.

    A Palm OS virus could attack Outlook by e.g. deleting all contacts when the hotsync notifcation comes in -> good night!

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  8. I reported a problem to Verizon about my Treo 700p. I could not e-synch to my third party network and the screen control was not responding. I did a hard reset about 4 o 5 times , hot synched each time,and then I realized that the virus thing(probably came over an email) had changed all my time and location settings to los angeles and the hour with a coma not a colon and no date even though I chose auto set on the reboot. There was a little cartoon car that drove accross the time and date area of the screen one time that I saw ( I am not crazy ). I did hard reset again, set everything back to my location and auto set for US time and date and then hot synched, problem gone.Norton did not see this virus when I scanned the Palm Desktop. Verizon suggested a hard reset in a later response to my email.

  9. Hi Roy,

    Sounds like you enabled the PalmOS easter egg – see http://www2.zansstuff.com:3390/palmegg.html#2 -as for the car….

    As for the other stuff – Could be anything that you did or downloaded, but be aware that any attachemnts that Versamail downloads cannot just be installed automatically, you need to click the attachemnt yourself.. did you get any strange attachments thaat you installed?

    Best regards,
    Ryan Rix

  10. Thank you.That was the little stinker car! I just started using the Versamail and I must have clicked on an attachment by accident. I have had to hard reset the 700p about once a month scince I got it. The main problem is it gets stuck in a loop. I don’t know how my time and zone settings got so messed up, but it just is another shrimp on the problem barbie i guess. Thanks

  11. Roy,

    Do you still have the mail you believe contained the virus anywhere? I would definitily be interested in taking a look at it, it that is ok with you!

    Best regards,
    Ryan Rix

  12. Everything was deleted. I wish I could have someone figure it out.I don’t know I accidently opened two easter eggs that I did not know even existed.I found the other easter egg on prefs power settings lower right corner and found online to draw counterclockwise around it to erase it.But the taxi went accross my main view of my phone app after my time zone changed to show no date an the hour with a comma.Thanks anyway-roy

  13. Hi,
    please send us the file!

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  14. Hi Tam,
    Sorry, I freaked and wiped everything clean, it also had turned on the little easter egg easter egg that I drew counter clockwise around it with the stylus to make it go away. I will try to keep a cop if I get another.

    Best regards,
    Roy

  15. Hi Roy,
    thank you so much for talking back – I hope that your Treo will remain operational without further virus quirks from now on!

    Best regards from Vienna
    Tam Hanna

  16. Now the digitiser has to be rest every couple of days. The screen starts to be unresponsive and I have to use the button controls to get to Prefs, and as soon as I get to prefs the digitiser target comes on by it self. Sometimes I have to go through about two or three resets on the digitiser before it takes.
    I bet it all will come down to third party issues. Palm will probably have it worked out when they get to the 1000 series Treos? Best-R

  17. Hi Roy,
    aah – the ever-famous Palm Digitizer issues. They couldnt get it right from the age of the V…

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  18. It’s not that I want an antivirus software to protect the actual Palm OS, but rather to get rid of any malicious software from being downloaded/kept on the phone, then making its way to my laptop/PC when connecting the phone. For example, just yesterday I connected my Palm Pixi to my laptop and was clearing out junk folders and files. There was a trojan software there (Instant.Access.exe) which made its way to my laptop. Thankfully Norton kicked in and a quick phone call to my business IS support got rid of it. So again, it would be nice to have a security filter on the phone to detect unwanted items from sneaking onboard. Cheers y’all!

  19. Hi Tony,
    thank you so much for talking back.

    IMHO, the issue in this scenario is that phones – IMHO – are to weak to handle the kind of scanning used on the desktop today, let alone the huge signatures…

    All the best
    Tam Hanna

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