BBC Smartphone Malware : It Could Have Been Worse

Mark Ward, a BBC journalist, has created a malicious application for smartphones using software toolkits that are readily available to mobile developers and exposed some worrying truths.

The article from Ward, who is the technology correspondent of BBC News, shows how easy it is to take a seemingly innocent mobile application and transform it into a booby-trapped honeypot.

However whether the exercise has created more fear than warranted can be debated and the article itself provides with one vital cue.

All major phone platforms including RIM, Android, iPhone and Microsoft, have very strict inbuilt mechanisms that allow them to disable and eliminate applications that may pose a risk very quickly.

Apple goes further by looking manually at the applications and rejecting those which fails its commercial, ethical and coding tests.

There's also fact that most modern mobile OSes can be upgraded over the air, meaning that emergency patches if needed can be deployed quickly.

Ironically, users most at risks are those who knowingly decide to illegally download pirated apps from other less policed websites where they are more likely to be contaminated.

At the end of the day, the likelihood of getting dodgy codes is significantly curtailed on mobile platforms because legitimate applications can only be downloaded from one source for each platform; App store for Apple, Ovi for Nokia, App Marketplace for Android and App World for Blackberry.