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Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

Ofcom says mobile contracts should ditch inflation-related price rises

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom wants to ban inflation-related rises in phone and broadband contracts. Instead, it says any potential mid-contract price rises should be set out in pounds and pence.
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Global smartphone market is set for recovery, says new forecast

A new forecast from research specialists Canalys shows the smartphone market is set to recover next year. Worldwide shipments declined by 12% last year but that decline is expected to slow to 5% this year.
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Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

Vodafone and Three plan to merge their UK businesses

New Hutchison/Vodafone network would be biggest UK operator

Vodafone Group plc and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings Limited have agreed to combine their UK telecommunication businesses, respectively Vodafone UK and Three UK. The merger will create a large new network operator to compete with Virgin Media O2 and EE.
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UK mobile payment service Paym to close in March 2023

UK mobile payment service Paym will close on 7th March 2023. The service, which allowed users to make and receive payments using their mobile phone numbers, was launched in 2014.
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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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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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