The "kill switch" for Windows Phone 7 apps

Microsoft outlines how it can "take action" against WP7 malware, offending apps

Microsoft has acknowledged that it has tools in place to "take action" against Windows Phone 7 malware or offending apps.

This capability, which is also present in Google Android and Apple iOS, essentially lets Microsoft, via it's Zune-based Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, unpublish an app or in some cases remove it from a phone if the software was deemed a dangerous-enough security threat. It was dubbed a "kill switch" by UK-based, which broke the story this week, based on an interview with Todd Biggs, director of product management for Windows Phone Marketplace.

Microsoft has created a highly automated app testing and certification process for Windows Phone 7 apps, and Briggs made clear the company expects that system to flag most instances of problematic code. But, he says, “Market Place is a complex operation and we need to have the capability for dealing with different situations.”As quoted in PCPro, Briggs clearly suggested the most common method of deactivating malware on the phone would be to simply yank the app from the online catalog. "[B]ut if it was very rogue then we could remove applications from handsets - we don't want things to go that far, but we could,” Biggs says.That would most likely be done when the phone automatically and periodically checks into the catalog for downloads and updates.

The first Windows Phone 7 handsets for the U.S. become available Monday, November 8, on AT&T and T-Mobile.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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