FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Harnessing Bluetooth Viruses for Messaging

Could a piece of code such as Cabir, the virus that began infecting Bluetooth devices in February, be leveraged as a messaging tool? That's the question being asked by mobile device technologists. Pranksters in the UK are already using Bluetooth to swap videos of their escapades, but others are thinking of how to use Bluetooth for more constructive means.

A Bluetooth messaging client could allow phones and other devices to bypass other networks to receive "broadcast" messages and data, but for security's sake, it could only be done in highly controlled environments such as schools and businesses. The code would also have to use some kind of certificate or public-private authetication key to ensure that a sent message stayed within the clearly defined group of recipients. People wanting to participate in "flash mobs" might want to play with this, but it could have other applications -- entertainment, education and even marketing are just a few applications. But again, the security issues inherent in making Bluetooth "discoverable" need to be addressed first.

Sources: The Mobile Technology Weblog, Smart Mobs