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BlackBerry Maker Concerned about Denial of Service Attack through Smartphones

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rim-logoWATERLOO, Canada – Last week, Scott Totzke, RIM’s VP of BlackBerry Security, stated his concerns about the use of “rogue” devices as tools to enable a distributed denial of service attack on wireless networks.

An example of such an attack was carried out in July to slow the networks in South Korea and the USA. Criminals used phone signals and devices as a part of their plan to order thousands of other devices, wired and wireless, to contact a site repeatedly, slowing legitimate access, or in the worst case, crashing the site.

Since smartphones are handheld computers, and BlackBerry is one of the leaders in the industry, Totzke’s concerns are justified. Attackers would have to develop an application that unsuspecting users would download to their smartphones. This application would then launch the attack on command from the criminals that planned and developed it.

What protection do users have? Same as for personal computers; rigorous updating from RIM as the manufacturer patches holes that are discovered, carefully vetting what users decide to put on their own devices. Users are advised to only download from reputable sources, and know what is in e-mail attachments before opening them.

Personal Vigilance is the key to safe use of smartphones.

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By , RIM-affairs Correspondent on Nov 24th, 2009 GMT +2

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