Threats and risks to mobile phones in Japan presented at Virus Bulletin 2005

by Kaoru Hayashi (Symantec security response),

Tags: Security


Summary : Mobile phone technology in Japan is far more advanced than most other countries. More than 90 million mobile phones are used in Japan and 80% of them can connect to the Internet. Even though mobile phones are still evolving, standard phones in Japan already support SMS, email, web content, Java, Flash, and digital cameras. Recently, support for electronic cash has emerged and it has already replaced the wallet so people with mobile phones can take the train and have dinner without cash or a credit card. Thus, the current mobile phone environment in Japan provides an insight to the potential future state of many other countries in the world.So far, malware threats such as SymbOS/Cabir have not affected almost all the users of mobile phones in Japan. However, this does not mean mobile phone users are protected from any security risks. Mobile phones consist of not only an operating system, but also hardware, software, services and infrastructure. When there is a vulnerability at any of these points, it may affect 90 million users.This paper will discuss the overview of the current and future threats to the mobile phone environment in Japan including malware, spam and phishing. In addition, information on how Japan is coping with these security threats will be discussed potentially providing guidance in preventing similar threats in other countries as they begin to adopt similar technologies.