The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

MOSQUITO BITES CELLPHONES
As much as mobile phone makers and wireless providers would love for us to drop some cash on the latest fully-loaded handsets, increasing news about prone they are to PC-like infections are sure to keep them on the shelf. In the past couple of months, we've heard about the Cabir virus and the vulnerability of Bluetooth-enabled phones.

The latest bug derives from a cellphone game that's named after a bug: Mosquito. Illegally-downloaded copies of the game have been hijacking cellphones and making them send automatically-generated text messages overseas, bringing people hefty phone bills.

I'm sure the concept of downloading anything, let alone videogames, onto a phone comes as news to the average consumer. The notion that a phone could be hacked to do malicious operations is equally bizarre, and unnerving.

As stories related to this spread, I expect to see more and more people eschew smart phones and stick with the basic free-with-your-service-plan clunker phones. Since most people don't want to do anything with their phones but talk anyway, it's not going to put a crimp in the average person's lifestyle by staying lower-tech.