Fortifying Phones From Attackers

As consumers and companies embrace smartphones to do more of their computing, the wireless industry is taking its first steps to beef up security on mobile devices.

Carriers are deploying new services and cutting deals with start-ups to help protect people from malicious attacks and misuse of their personal data stored on a smartphone. Meanwhile, handset makers and chip firms are taking steps to fortify their hardware as the number of attacks on mobile devices grows larger and more sophisticated.

“Everyone is realizing that this is an uncontrolled environment,” said Edward G. Amoroso, chief security officer of AT&T Inc. “We don’t want to have the same problems that we had with PCs.”

Security researchers and technology executives say their moves to improve security mark the start of an effort that will take years to play out because the wireless industry until recently was more focused on signing up customers than hardening mobile devices against attacks.

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