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3G tech vulnerable to cyber crime

Last updated on: December 9, 2010 14:42 IST

3G tech vulnerable to cyber crime

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Anurag Sharma in New Delhi
As 3G mobile services are set to be rolled out soon in the country, cyber experts sound a word of caution about the high tech enabled mobile phones, which they say are more vulnerable in the world of technology related crimes.

While the next generation technology aims to make life simpler enabling downloading of movies and music within minutes, it can also be used for various unscrupulous activities.

"With 3G, cellphones will have faster broadband Internet and with such speed you can watch television live, make video calls and download music and movies in no time.

But through spying software and virus, the hacker can easily break into your system," says Ankit Fadia, an ethical hacker and cyber security expert. "The hacker can record all the audio conversation and video files.

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Image: 3G phone can be prone to attacks.

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Not many people in India install anti-virus in the phones. I would recommend them to install anti-virus and fireballs while using 3G, says Fadia who recommends switching off the bluetooth function of the phone when not required to protect the user's password.

Not limited to an individual's privacy issues, the 3G technology will also lead to increase in piracy of films and music, thereby giving a staggering amount of losses to the entertainment industry that is battling the piracy threat.

"It will become extremely easy for anybody to download an entire Bollywood film in few minutes using 3G. This is going to lead to further tremendous growth of websites like torrents," says advocate Pavan Duggal, a cyberlaw expert.

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Image: Apple iPhone.

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The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) points out that Bollywood would be hit most by the 3G and wants service providers to adopt a stricter approach to check cybercrimes.

"Today it takes several hours to download a new release Bollywood film but with 3G it will be in minutes that will encourage people to use illegal means to view a film," says Rakshit Tandon, consultant, IAMAI. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report titled, "Indian 3G broadband subscribers," the mobile subscriber base is projected to cross one billion in 2014.

The 3G broadband subscriber base is expected to cross 107 million by 2015.

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Image: Stricter approach to check cybercrimes.

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Indian law enforcement lacks the necessary training to deal with cyber-crimes and there is a distinct need for amending the law and making security agencies aware about the Internet, say experts.

"Laws are there to protect but our police agencies are yet not ready to take-up the cyber crime challenges, especially 3G. They need to be trained to tackle the growing usage of Internet by criminals," says Fadia.

Duggal, who is a Supreme Court lawyer, says there is a distinct need for amending the law so as to provide for far more broad generic provisions which can withstand the onslaught of any other new technology.


Image: Smartphones.

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"Further adequate statutory protections needs to be given to users so that whatever limited right to privacy they have in the context of the electronic ecosystem are not appropriately compromised with the advent of new technology," he says.

As mobile handsets is becoming an integral part of the consumer experience, the availability of a large number of feature-rich handsets at affordable prices or in attractive bundled offers is likely to further drive the adoption of 3G value-added services, according to a report by RNCOS.

The industry analysis provider also predicts that the number of 3G mobile subscribers is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 80 per cent during 2011-2013.


Image: Apple iPhone.

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