Microsoft details Windows Phone 7 kill switch

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Marketplace could remove apps if they pose a security threat.

Microsoft has outlined how it might use the little -publicised “kill switch” in Windows Phone 7 handsets.

A kill switch is a tool that allows software controllers to remove certain apps or software from handsets if they pose a security or privacy risk, such as a trojan planted in an app.

Apple's iPhone and Google's Android phone software also have kill switches built-in to cover the eventuality that they need to remove malware, or even just apps that break guidelines, but talk of a kill switch on Windows Phone 7 handsets has been muted since the platform launched last month.

“We don't really talk about it publicly because the focus is on testing of apps to make sure they're okay, but in the rare event that we need to, we have the tools to take action,” said Todd Biggs, director of product management for Windows Phone Marketplace.

“Market Place is a complex operation and we need to have the capability for dealing with different situations.”

According to Biggs, Microsoft's strict testing of apps when they are submitted for inclusion in Marketplace should minimise kill switch use, but he explained how the company would react if an application was deemed unsafe once it had been approved.

“If in the Marketplace an app does get through and goes rogue there are a couple of things we can do about it, depending on what it was,” he said.

“We could unpublish it from the catalogue so that it was no longer available, but if it was very rogue then we could remove applications from handsets - we don't want things to go that far, but we could.”

Rather than pushing out an instant zap the kill switch would be activated when handsets “checked in” with Marketplace as part of routine maintenance.

“From a high-level perspective, phones check in to see if there are any downloads or updates available and it will also check if there are any apps that shouldn't be on there,” he said. “There might be instances where we would remove the app.”

Microsoft was reluctant to give examples of situations that would warrant app deletion, but agreed privacy and security concerns would be on the list.

Related articles

Windows Phone 7: Our verdict

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing


Microsoft details Windows Phone 7 kill switch
 
 
 
Top Stories
IBM, NEC picked for major NSW Transport deals
Final contract negotiations begin.
 
Westpac interim CIO resigns
Group CIO yet to be appointed.
 
Five emerging technologies that will transform financial services
[Blog post] Far out ideas that aren't far off.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Pass on carbon tax savings, warns ACCC
Jul 24, 2014
The ACCC is warning businesses that supply "regulated goods" to pass on any cost savings ...
Have customers that won't pay debts?
Jul 10, 2014
The ACCC and ASIC have updated their advice when it comes to collecting debts.
Carpet cleaner faces court over online testimonials
Jul 4, 2014
The ACCC has initiated proceedings against A Whistle (1979) Pty Ltd, the franchisor of Electrodry...
You can now get 15GB of free online storage using Microsoft OneDrive
Jun 25, 2014
Cloud storage has reached both the capacity and price where it's a viable alternative to local ...
Another clever trick you can perform with Xero
Jun 25, 2014
Here is another way to reach out to particular subsets of your customers using Xero.
Latest Comments
Polls
What is delaying adoption of public cloud in your organisation?







   |   View results
Lock-in concerns
  30%
 
Application integration concerns
  3%
 
Security and compliance concerns
  27%
 
Unreliable network infrastructure
  9%
 
Data sovereignty concerns
  21%
 
Lack of stakeholder support
  3%
 
Protecting on-premise IT jobs
  4%
 
Difficulty transitioning CapEx budget into OpEx
  3%
TOTAL VOTES: 995

Vote