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Mobile Malware: Coming soon to a PC near you!

Posted by Patrick Snyder
Patrick Snyder
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on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 in MyBlog

The evolution of mobile apps has become a viral topic among technologists. Developers are rapidly transitioning their skills from PC based programming back to the minimalist programming seen in the early stages of computing where resources were limited. There are already an estimated 350,000 apps on the Android market and more than a half-million in the iOS App Store. With these mobile app environments growing so quickly, PC companies are struggling to keep up and searching for a beneficial solution.

Enterprises have been exploring the idea of virtualization of applications to allow functionality on various platforms for a long time now. Much of this development can already be seen today on mobile devices and PCs that run Java environments to power universal applications. What they are really searching for is a solution that allows for universal operation of applications that use little to no system resources. If these apps can run on less powerful smartphones then they should have potentially amazing capability on PC platforms.

Well now this solution is within reach. Bluestacks is currently developing technology that will allow Android apps to be run on a PC. Though this seems great for integrating our bulky yet powerful desktop and laptops in with our mobile devices, it should also be raising some red flags. 

According to research published by Juniper Networks, mobile malware on the Android operating system went up 400% in the six months prior to 2011. Thats should be a frightening statistic! Why would we ever want to allow these applications to run on our PCs?! As if our PCs didn't already have enough malware to defend against, we are going to add mobile malware into the equation.

The technology will be virtualized so there is an assumed level of security associated with such technologies. This security is usually provided through the use of a hypervisor to manage communications between software and hardware and also between the hosted operating systems themselves however, the technology pitched by Bluestacks seems like it will stray from this model. 

"End users don't have to toggle between operating systems. They can simply click on an icon for an Android application, for instance, to launch and use it." Rosen Sharma, president and CEO of Bluestacks said.

From a security standpoint, we find this methodology very risky. We expect to see malware propagating through this new attack vector very soon, you can count on it. "This will be the number one attack vector within a year!" Ken Kousky, president and CEO of IP3 Inc. said.


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