Saturday, January 22, 2011

'3G will lead to a significant increase in cybercrime if stringent laws are not enforced'

The coming in of 3G has seen a huge rise in smart phones and advanced apps and video. However, rates in cybercrime have also seen a sharp increase, with easy accessibility to prohibited websites, and faster download speed with video on mobile have provided for better viewing, downloading and sharing. Please provide your views on this scenario.
Smartphones with their superior quality video and high bandwidth applications are becoming more affordable, which is leading to the sharp rise in cyber crime.If stringent laws are not enforced, there will be a significant increase in cyber crime as consumers have easy access to 3G and high bandwidth apps. The Indian government has issued a regulatory policy to prevent access to prohibited websites which all Indian telecom operators need to ensure using appropriate filtering irrespective of whether internet traffic is generated from a mobile device or a desktop. Access to malicious websites and malicious mobile applications will increase significantly due to the immaturity of mobile OS (Operating System), lack of security awareness by users and limited mechanisms to test mobile applications for malicious code and security flaws.
Is there a way to separate the useful apps from the other ones, or provide some security or code for certain applications, while blocking others?
Yes, there is way to handle this. Technically speaking, restrictions can be placed on the applications and internet services in such a way that everyone cannot access all the websites. An example is mobile security both at the application level and at the network level. If you look back, most of the cybercrimes are related to either money (such as credit card, mobile banking, land related, political etc.) or adult sites. So, any applications/services that access resources related to the above needs to be controlled. For example, all the outgoing HTTP/HTTPS traffic needs to be investigated before access is provided. These would be some of the ways to separate the useful applications from crime related applications. Tech Mahindra has developed a unique and proprietary service based on its extensive mobile and security capability to test binary and application source for embedded malware and security flaws. The certification service launched recently has already completed extensive security testing of over 15000 mobile applications. We found around that 3% of these were malicious.
How secure will 3G apps be, and are you doing anything to promote this security aspect?
3G will usher in an era of video communication and new multimedia applications as opposed to 2G which is more data oriented. Essentially the security risk remain the same. However, I see a greater risk of pornography and sexual harassment.We are in the process of including the security aspects into mobile apps and VAS services. We would like to put some guidelines for the newer applications to be secure enough for usage.
In big enterprises, how would one keep a tab on what is being downloaded using office internet synchronized with a 3G mobile phone?
The simplest method is to ensure that USB ports are blocked. The other way to keep tabs is to analyze USB logs, which is an expensive proposition. The IT manager may also keep a tab on the employees and tighten security through a firewall, proxy servers, password enabled WiFi at an advanced level and monitoring the outgoing traffic. However, if there is too much of monitoring or checking, then speed becomes too slow. So one has to be a bit smart on what needs to be monitored.
Do you believe that 3G will promote cybercrime, and what steps do you suggest can be taken to avoid this?
Cybercrime is here to stay irrespective of whether 3G is here or not. The primary reason for increase in cybercrime is the avalibity of financial services over mobile devices.
I suggest the following to avoid cybercrime:
• By creating secure mobile applications and services (a technical solution)
• By creating the awareness of cybercrime and educating the people about the potential risks and crimes through advertisements, media etc. which is more of a marketing and social solution However, it will be difficult to answer which one will be more effective. I believe that a combination of both will be more effective than a single solution.
What according to you will be the most non-essential killer app with 3G and why?
Any application which is related to quickly making money will be a killer app. For example, when the lottery ticket was not doing well, someone came with an idea of 'single digit lottery', which was a huge success, although everyone knew it is a gamble, however, it was a big hit. I am definitely not recommending any gambling application, but anything related to 'earning money' will be a success.source


Blood Helpline Service on SMS. Let's DO our bit for the society.

If you want to Join:

  • Step1: Send an SMS JOIN <Blood Group> <Pin Code> to 54321 (Tollfree)
  • Step2: You will soon receive an SMS saying “You have been registered to the BLOODLINE club. Thanks for volunteering.

If you are in Need:

  • Step1: : Send an SMS NEED <Blood Group> <Pin Code> to 54321 (Charges: Rs. 3/SMS)
  • Step2: The system maps your Blood Group & Pin code and will send an SMS to all the matching donors.
    Eg: O+ Blood Group required by 9811152345 in your pin code area 110008, Please help your Bloodline member.
  • Step3: You will also soon receive an SMS saying “Your request has been forwarded to other Bloodline members matching your blood group requirement. You should receive help soon. Thank you”

Please Note:

  1. Privacy of the subscriber who wants to JOIN the Bloodline Club is maintained as the users won't get to know who has joined the Club.
  2. Only at the time of need, the message of user will be passed to Members with his/her mobile number so that they can contact him back.
  3. Applicable for all the Tata DOCOMO Prepay and Postpay subscribers.source

TRAI want details on growth of MVAS from OPERATORS

Telecom regulator Trai on Friday sought comments from various mobile operators for the growth of value added services that include policy framework and support infrastructure to usher in inclusive growth.

Industry body Assocham has released a study paper, titled 'Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS)-a vehicle to usher in inclusive growth and bridge the digital divide' on which Trai is seeking comments from various service operators by February 11, Telecom regulator said in a statement.

The paper has identified issues for the growth of MVAS industry, including policy framework, support infrastructure and high equilibrium ecosystem.

At present, the contribution of VAS to the total revenue of Indian telecom operators is just 9-10 per cent, which is significantly lower when compared with developed markets.

The potential for VAS revenues appears all the more significant at the present juncture, given that India is set to introduce 3G services nationwide, a standard that allows operators to offer wide range of advanced services.

As the telecom industry sees a rapid decline in voice tariffs, it is looking at services beyond standard voice calls or MVAS to propel it to the next level of growth. With mobile penetration expected to go up to nearly 100 per cent by 2015 and the advent of 3G, MVAS revenues are expected to grow to Rs 48,000 crore.

Some of these services are those in the 'Utility MVAS' category-- MVAS which seeks to digitally empower citizens by providing efficient access to essential information and services and foster inclusive growth.

Utility MVAS includes segments like M-Infotainment, M-Connectivity, M-Enterprise, M-Commerce, M-Health and M-Agriculture.

While there are plenty of challenges that face the Utility MVAS space today, the opportunities are tremendous, given the mobile phone's growing reach and the advancement of technology including the foray of 3G.

The reach and penetration of mobile phones can ensure the delivery of a large number of services in a cost-effective, fast and seamless manner even without physical access as is seen from such initiatives around the world.

This makes mobiles phones the perfect medium to deliver a variety of content and services, or as referred to in popular parlance-MVAS-to the Indian population.


If the experience in Haryana is anything to go by, mobile number portability has been off to a slow start with around 0.75% of the subscribers opting for the service since its launch in late November.

According to agencies dealing with portability, on an average, around 3,000 applications per day have been received so far. So, till now, over the 45-odd days since the launch of the service, around 1.35 lakh subscribers would have opted for MNP, which is 0.75% of the subscriber base of 1.77 crore at the end of October 2010.

Analysts pointed out that the number could be higher in metros and cities, which could also be the result of a campaign launched by the government and the telecom regulator, including the high-profile launch by PM Manmohan Singh on Thursday.

They also said that in a state like Haryana, where a sizeable number residing in Gurgaon and Faridabad were actually using Delhi mobile phones, congestion levels could be lower. A recent study conducted by Trai showed that the six operators in Haryana offered network availability that was above the 90% benchmark. Three of the operators, however, were below the 95% benchmark in customer satisfaction survey conducted by the regulator on accessibility and retainability and four put up a below par show on metering and billing.

Mobile number portability was delayed by several years due to lobbying by telecom companies and the lack of preparedness by the government. While launching the service in Haryana in November, the government had promised a national rollout by January 20 and it has managed to stick to it.

While launching the service, the Prime Minister said: "Till now, operators were competing to acquire new subscribers. But launch of MNP will force them to offer innovative and quality services to retain their subscribers." source