How secure are smartphones?

Google likes to brag that its Android Market application platform is more open than Apple’s app store. But that openness may be a liability too. Last month cybersecurity researchers at Finnish firm F-Secure found that a developer known as 09Droid had created dozens of apps that posed as mobile banking programs, but in fact served only as unauthorized interfaces to the banks’ Web sites. F-Secure couldn’t confirm that the programs were actually stealing data, but they showed that they software was capable of password theft. Google pulled the apps, and several banks issued warnings.