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European smartphone shipments fall to lowest Q1 total since 2013

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Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Qualcomm legal action moves forward in the UK

Which? seeks payout for Samsung and Apple smartphone owners

Consumer protection organisation Which? has been given permission by the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal to represent Apple and Samsung smartphone buyers in a legal case against chip manufacturer Qualcomm.
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Google announces new devices

Google announces new devices

Pixel Watch, smartphones, earbuds and more

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UK advertising watchdog says Tesco Mobile ads were offensive

UK advertising watchdog says Tesco Mobile ads were offensive

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a number of recent Tesco Mobile advertisements were likely to cause "serious and widespread offence".

Newspaper ads, digital outdoor posters and a Twitter post were investigated after 52 complaints.
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Apple launches self-service repairs in the USA

Apple launches self-service repairs in the USA

DIY iPhone repairers can now order official spares

Apple has launched 'Self Service Repair' in the USA, enabling consumers to obtain repair manuals, Apple parts and tools from an official Repair Store. The service will be expanded into additional countries later this year.
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Opinion Articles

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Insecure Mobile Browsers

James Rosewell writes:

I note with interest Barclays mobile on-line banking home page extolling the safety of mobile banking whilst claiming it’s as secure as their non-mobile equivalent. This is on the same page that recommends customers use Opera Mini to access Barclays mobile on-line banking.

How safe is Mobile Banking?

[Text from Barclays mobile banking site on 9th June 2009]

Yet following the link to the operamini.com web site and looking at the help section we can read Opera’s answer to the question “Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and — for example — paypal.com or my bank?” and the answer is “No. If you need full end-to-end encryption, you should use a full Web browser such as Opera Mobile.”

Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and — for example — paypal.com or my bank?

[Text from Opera.com web site on 9th June 2009].

Opera’s answer can be applied to any mobile internet browsing that utilises transcoder technology, including mobile network operators and Skyfire. Using transcoder technology of any kind to access secure web sites leaves the mobile user open to phishing attacks as it’s impossible to validate the site being accessed is the one intended. The mobile user is unwittingly giving a 3rd party such as Opera, Skyfire or their mobile network access to their personal information. The technology exists for Barclays (and other banks that offer mobile services) to detect transcoders and prevent mobile devices from accessing the service, or at least warn the user.

Contradictions between different organisations are soon going to be picked up by the mainstream press and confusion will reign among a public already nervous about on-line security. All organisations offering ecommerce, banking, payment or any other mobile service involving personal information need to both understand the subject and present accurate information to the public. If they don’t, these services will be slow to take off and will stifle an industry in its infancy to the detriment of all.

If you’d like to find out exactly how Opera Mini, Skyfire and mobile network transcoders reduce online security, listen to this week's edition of The Fonecast at http://www.thefonecast.com/?item=309
 

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