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  • Mobile Apps - A security threat | Download & Use Carefully

    Researchers have found out that a lot of mobile applications pose a potent security threat to our privacy and society. Be careful while downloading and using these apps. Read on to find out more...

    SECURITY agencies may have found a way to intercept highly encrypted BlackBerry Messenger ( BBM) services, but other similar applications such as WhatsApp messenger and free service Viber which enable millions of users to call and text appear to be having a free run.

    Encrypted services such as WhatsApp and Viber, available to smartphone users and offering free audio, video, chat services and access to information of location, could be a serious threat to India’s security, a top government official said. These countless number of mobile applications are turning out to be a grey area and is another serious technological challenge for the government, he pointed out.

    “ These mobile applications are available to users free of cost through various operating systems like Android which cannot be regulated. They cannot be intercepted, if required, since almost all the servers for these applications are located outside India,” said an official.

    “ Any sort of anti- national activity could be carried out communicating through these applications by text messages, audio or video. In fact, free applications like WhatsApp, True Caller, Fring, Viber and many others have now replaced SMSs in communication. This makes the security apparatus more vulnerable,” said cyber law expert Pavan Duggal.

    Duggal added, “ Any communication through these mobile applications generates a third- party data which lies with the telecom operator. They are bound to ensure that the data is regulated and accessible to security agencies if they require.” However, leading telecom companies said it is difficult to monitor the huge number of mobile applications.
    Rajan S. Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India, said that telecom companies are only responsible for access to these applications if the government asks for it.

    However, Duggal said, “ How can you provide access to any data without getting it tested?”