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Entries in mobile security (3)


Is malware taking over our smartphones? 

Are our mobile phones being swamped with malware?


Calgary startup Wedge Networks claims that as much as 90% of data uploaded from mobile phones is malware. What's more, says Wedge COO Steve Chappell, operators don't see it as a problem - “as long as customers are paying for their data.”


Wedge's figures are impossible to verify, but it does have some smart SDN-enabled data inspection technology that can peer into massive volumes of data in real-time.


Wedge has found that 89%-91% of data uploaded from Bharti Airtel users, and nearly 90% of data from customers of Thailand's TOT, is infected. Similar results were found in the data traffic of operators in other markets, Chappell said.

The malware does not pose a threat to handsets or users. “The aim is to be disseminated,” Chappell points out. But those who created the threats are exploiting the meagre level of security in consumer devices.


While operators are indifferent to the threat to users, they insist that the malware be removed before entering their backbones, reaping huge savings.


Chappell says by taking advantage of the flexibility of SDN, Wedge's solutions have the ability to scale enormously.  Indeed, the company has just landed a contract with an unnamed Middle East government to provide real-time 'web filtering' over a 40Gbps data stream - an impressive technology achievement (that it is being primarily used to block politically objectionable websites is less so).


The technology was developed by co-founders CEO Hongwen Zhang and chief scientist Husam Kinawi as postgrads at Calgary University.


Wedge has just completed a $10 million B funding round. Bell Canada, Mitsubishi and China data center firm 21 Vianet are customers, while Comcast is conducting proof of concept tests.


Asian CIOs love and fear iOS

Apple’s iOS is the platform Asia-Pacific CIOs are most keen to deploy. Yet when it comes to security, it’s also the one they’re most anxious about.

That apparent disconnect shows up in IDC’s latest survey of regional IT decision-makers.

A hefty 43% said they most preferred iOS as the system to support their mobile apps and solutions; just chose 28% Android.

Yet when it comes to security iOS is the one they’re “most worried about.” Open-source, fragmented Android and its often-unpatched security holes comes in fourth.

The explanation probably lies in Symbian’s ranking as the OS that enterprise IT guys are least worried about. As IDC’s Claus Mortensen puts it, that’s because they aren’t planning to use it.

So the high nervousness about iOS most likely reflects its growing popularity as an enterprise platform.

From that perspective, the poll is a spot of good news for BlackBerry. It’s the fourth most preferred OS, chosen by 12% – just behind Microsoft/Windows Mobile.

But in the security anxiety rankings the BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry 7 come in second and third respectively. Asian enterprises at least seem to have plans for BlackBerry.


Mobile security becoming 'impossible': Bernabè

GSMA chairman Franco Bernabè sent a warning today about the dangers of the over-the-top (OTT) invasion.


“With emergence of OTT players means security and privacy are becoming increasingly challenging and in some cases impossible,” he said in his keynote.


He said the GSM industry had built in strong privacy and security protections since its infancy, and called on operators to “passionately defend the core elements that have ensured our previous waves of success.”