Mobile users seek high-end facilities against theft, virus

KATHMANDU: The fourth day of the second edition of the mobile expo had its ususal attractions but on Saturday many mobile users were seen thronging some of the stalls displaying virus scanner, mobile tracking software, m-cash and m-banking.

The commonest threat to the mobile system is the SMS mobile virus, the SymbOS.Hatihati.A, an SMS virus that resides in the mobile memory and tries to send SMS automatically to the predefined number. Hatihati.

A is a worm like application that spreads via MMC cards. Once a worm copies itself to a new device, it starts sending a very high volume of SMS messages to a predefined number.

“The predefined number is inherent with the Hatihati. A malware and it will not be picked up from a contact list,” said Rabindra Khwanjuo, Engineer of Nepal Telecom-Business Department.

Hatihati.A can be removed in two ways. One is soft formatting whereas other is hard formatting.

A soft formatting procedure cleans the phone memory only and SMS, contacts and others will still be intact whereas hard fomatting procedure resets the phone to factory default setting. “A phone lock code may be required and the code is 12345,” Rabindra added.

“Today’s world is the world of m-commerce and the mobile expo 2009 has also proved to be an effort of Mobile Association of Nepal (MAN) to provide mobile awareness to the people,” MAN president Ambika Prashad Dhakal said.

Various new technologies like Cellspiner, a symbian-based security application has also been launched during the expo by Nepali m-market that protects the privacy and prevents the misuse of data in lost handsets.

Cellspiner traces any new number that might be used on the handset.

When a new simcard is installed, alert messages are sent to predefined numbers entered to the user, notifying them that the users handset is in use with the new number. The alert message will also recover the user’s IMEI number for validation.

“Apart from this, the technology can delete all personal information on the phone via SMS using a WIPE string that the user will control even if the handset is operating with a new number,” said sales manager Dikila Ruit of FOCUSONE.

Apart from these outstanding technologies, the expo also features XMS-Mobile banking services and other mobile services. Mobile banking creates a new secure channel for interaction between a bank and a customer. Various mobile companies exhibited their whole range of products during the mobile-event.“On the fourth day of the expo, the total number of the visitors has been around 70,000. However, we have not ascertained the total transaction yet.” said Dhakal.

The ICT and mobile expo have always been a major attraction for Nepalis.