Know how you can tell smartphones and app stores are truly mainstream? No, it’s not because my mother just bought a Blackberry! It’s because the Wall Street Journal is writing articles on apps, and that <gasp> malicious apps have been creeping into the smartphone space.
I am being a bit tongue in cheek; the Wall Street Journal is, as always, fairly even and conservative in their tone:
As smartphones and the applications that run on them take off, businesses and consumers are beginning to confront a budding dark side of the wireless Web.
Online stores run by Apple Inc., Google Inc. and others now offer more than 250,000 applications such as games and financial tools. The apps have been a key selling point for devices like Apple’s iPhone. But concerns are growing among security researchers and government officials that efforts to keep out malicious software aren’t keeping up with the apps craze.
The article goes on to talk about how the Air Force and other organizations have responded to fears about malicious apps by locking down Blackberries and banning users from installing their own apps. It puts an interesting spin on the success of the Blackberry and the future for Android and the iPhone in the corporate space. On the one hand, there’s increased fears from IT that a malicious app or exploit (rare as they are) could wreak havoc with corporate phones, and on the other hand users want what they use for personal devices and what their friends have.
While the Wall Street Journal dances around it a bit, right now the best solution is common sense. Be vigilant, don’t download apps that don’t make sense, and pay attention to the “features” an app offers. If a game wants access to your text messages or phone calls, you really need to wonder why before you hit buy.
Via The Wall Street Journal (registration may be required)