TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cell Phones: Viruses are Catching

Re: Cell Phones: Viruses are Catching
15 Nov 2006 14:37:48 -0800

Linc Madison wrote:

> This story raises a fundamental question for me, akin to the question
> I asked when the Microsoft Office macro viruses first emerged about 11
> or 12 years ago. ...

These are excellent questions and points and I'd love to know the
answers to all of them myself.

Recently we had a discussion on this and it was explained that for PCs
and the Internet, much of it was legacy protocols and connection
methodologies never intended for public use. There was too much of an
installed base now to change it.

However, that explanation doesn't apply to cell phone macros which is
all new technology. As stated, the experience of remote sabotage was
well known.

My own speculation is that cell phone providers allowed this because
(1) they want their phones to be easy yet sophisticated for
non-technical users and (2) easy automated features encouarge callers
to make use of them consuming toll minutes and feature charges which
leads to profits.

Let's face, pretty much everything we do in Windows could be done in
upgraded DOS, and not that hard with pre-written .BAT files or menu
screens. But the old "C:>" and typing in a command with proper syntax
and operands terrified people. If we required lay users to go through
a step-by-step process to download procs, music, messages, etc., on
their cell phones they wouldn't bother and wouldn't like it. Face it,
the everyday user _wants_ things to be automated. Thus our dilemma.

My cell provider mails me new shortcut services all the time,
available for a small fee and airtime. Those small $1 fees can add
up. (Should cell phone directory assistance really cost $1.25 per
use, plus airtime?)

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