Numbers show that malware on smartphones is a bigger and bigger problem every year, and it's not like the phone companies are making it any easier. Would it really kill them to include a native virus scanner in iOS or Android? This is where the Skorpion comes in.
The Skorpion is a jacked-up smartphone charger that also scans for malware, viruses and malicious rootkits. It's stupidly simple. Plug in your phone, and the Skorpion lets you know within two minutes if there's any malware on your phone. Within six minutes, it's done a comprehensive scan of the OS and reports back any problems. The whole shebang is managed through a web-based interface that keeps up with stats and gives guidance on what to do if you've been compromised.
What's extra cool about the Skorpion is that it's less likely to be fooled by malware that's programmed to tell a virus scanner everything's ok. Because it works independently of the smartphone, you get a deeper scan and get notified with these kinds of silent attacks happen. The extra protection does come at a price; the Skorpion will go on sale under the Belkin brand later this year for $65 in the US (UK price isn't yet known, but $65 converts to £40), plus a few dollars / quid per month for a subscription fee. It's also not clear yet which devices it will be available for, since its makers need the cooperation of manufacturers to make sure it's functional with a given device.
All things considered, though, that's a small price to pay for security. [Technology Review]