Feeds

Nokia seeks lost Marble widgets

Fiddling Finns need a wake-up call

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Comment If you heard an unearthly groan coming from your IT department today, the following news may be responsible. Nokia today revealed that it was bringing the security and stability of Web 2.0 to its mobile handsets.

Yes, the class of PC bloatware known as "Widgets" are to run on Nokia's S60 handsets, and the formal announcement speaks of "transforming mobility and the Internet with rich Web 2.0 experiences".

Permit us to translate.

For "Transforming mobility" read: "opening up a secure platform" and for "rich Web 2.0" experience read: "to Javascript worms, pop-up windows and stealth dialers". In other words, it's the presentation layer people who think they can solve infrastructure level problems - and this time, they're coming for your phone.

We already know what you Reg readers think of Web 2.0 security: this survey of opinion should be a must-read for phone executives tempted to sprinkle a little of the Web 2.0 pixie dust on their business strategies.

JavaScript worms are a popular delivery mechanism for Malware on the PC, but as the J in AJAX, they've recently been adopted to take advantage of Web 2.0: causing havoc on MySpace, Yahoo! and, er... MySpace again.

Nokia says it will initially restrict the functionality of the JavaScript worms, before opening the floodgates. Ovum analyst Tony Cripps has glimpsed the horror that awaits us - this is what he said:

"Scripting-based security exploits are commonplace on the desktop," he writes in a research note, "and we believe countermeasures need to be employed early to avoid such issues arising on mobile phones."

He goes on, "Nokia promises to remove the sandbox in a future version once developer support and a signing process have been put in place."

At best, this creates an audit trail after the damage has been done, although there'll surely be something more sinister than a wild goose at the end of it. Many of the people behind these scams do not answer the door politely.

"So overall then, a good effort by Nokia to advance the cause of mobile widgets in a rational way," concludes Cripps.

But what's this "cause of widgets", of which he speaks?

Business security measures using SSL

Next page: Nokia forgets Nokia

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.