WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger and other online chat apps handled more messages than telcos handled texts, says market research biz Informa.
And by the end of 2013, the number of online messages will be double the number of SMS texts, leaving the phone network operators scrabbling for revenue.
Informa pegged 2012's global SMS traffic at 17.6 billion messages a day on average, while internet-based services averaged 19.1 billion mobile messages in the same year. The researchers reckon that trend will accelerate: internet messages should hit 41 billion a day by the year's end despite SMS having seven times as many users. Read more...
A French hacker claims he has found a flaw in the commonly used Short Messaging Service (SMS) that lets people send text messages from accounts not their own, similar to how emails are often purportedly sent from a user's email account even though they were not, in a technique known as spoofing. The hacker, who calls himself "pod2g" and is best known for jailbreaking iPhones, said Friday that the vulnerability could let an attacker send a phishing message pretending to be from a bank, credit card company, or other trusted source.
The hacker demonstrated the flaw on an iPhone. Because the flaw does not involve code execution, an attacker does not need to get malware pass Apple, which approves all mobile apps before they are sold on the App Store, the only legitimate site for downloading software for Apple mobile devices. Read more...
Almost a year after Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal led him to resign from office, Americans seem to be as careless about using their smartphones as the former congressman was. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans who have a smartphone say they have used it for sexting, sharing explicit photos or text messages with others, according to a new survey.
The biggest age groups for sexting are 18- to 34-year-old men (32 percent) and 35- to 44-year-old women (25 percent), says Lookout Mobile Security, which sponsored the Harris Interactive poll of 2,097 adults. Read more...
Twitter -- the next (digital) battleground state. The social media wars are already underway, just check out Twitter foes David Axelrod, of the Obama campaign, and Eric Fehrnstrom, with the Romney campaign. Axelrod tweeted this photo, saying "How loving owners transport their dogs" -- a shot at Mitt Romney, who in the 1980s transported his dog Seamus in a carrier strapped to the roof. Fehrnstrom shot back after someone realized that in his memoir Obama wrote about eating dog as a boy. Fehrnstrom re-tweeted Axelrod's photo with the message: "In hindsight, a chilling photo." It was a debate hashed out -- or hashtagged out -- entirely on Twitter. Read more...
Google underestimated the scope and consequences of the outage that hit Gmail on Tuesday.
In its latest update about the problem, Google said that the hour-plus long outage affected "less than 10 percent" of Gmail's user base, much more than the original estimate of "less than 2 percent."
Moreover, in that update posted at around 9:45 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, Google also warned about possible lingering effects stemming from the outage. Read more...
An Android app developer has published what he says is conclusive proof that millions of smartphones are secretly monitoring the key presses, geographic locations, and received messages of its users.
In a YouTube video posted on Monday, Trevor Eckhart showed how software from a Silicon Valley company known as Carrier IQ recorded in real time the keys he pressed into a stock EVO handset, which he had reset to factory settings just prior to the demonstration. Using a packet sniffer while his device was in airplane mode, he demonstrated how each numeric tap and every received text message is logged by the software. Read more...
The messages included multiple hot links, with persuasive marketing drivel urging me to click on the links and log on to my account. In fact, in all respects they were just like high-quality phishing emails with the single exception that the links go to the email0.paypal.com and email-edg.paypal.com websites. Read more...
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