In the US, T-Mobile has installed a firewall on its GPRS network after users complained they were receiving hacker probes while using its high-speed mobile service.
Because GPRS is usually paid for by the volume of traffic used, hacker probes may cost users money as well as threatening their security.
The company has admitted that in the region of 100 users have been affected by the invasions.
GPRS networks offer an always-on connection and so it has a greater need for firewall protection both from service providers and end-user than dial-up connections.
The problem was highlighted after the technology director for the broadcast division of AP noticed numerous probe against his PC while he was using T-Mobile’s GPRS network.
Security experts have said that if a user has a Bluetooth connection to a laptop with a personal firewall installed it would go some way toward addressing the issue.
But the race is on to find a failsafe firewall for GPRS-enabled handhelds.
By Suzanne Byrne