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Strategy Analytics Predicts HTML5 Phones to Reach One Billion Sales in 2013

Strategy Analytics, a global research and marketing firm that specializes in technology markets, recently released a projection that predicts HTML5 phone sales will reach the one billion unit milestone in 2013. Such a projection is a bold one considering HTML5 phones accounted for 336 million sales in 2011. The increased popularity of HTML5 technology and the way in which it facilitates the convergence of a wide range of devices including feature phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and more, however, makes the firm’s prediction seem quite possible.

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December 12, 2011
  1. · Strategy Analytics Predicts HTML5 Phones to Reach One Billion Sales in 2013
  2. · HTML5 Brings Benefits and Security Risks in 2012

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Strategy Analytics Predicts HTML5 Phones to Reach One Billion Sales in 2013 - HTML5 Brings Benefits and Security Risks in 2012
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HTML5 Brings Benefits, Security Risks in 2012

As the tech world continues its shift in favor of HTML5, a plethora of new possibilities will emerge in the realm of web applications.  Unfortunately, there is a tradeoff for such enhanced functionality, as many new security risks are bound to arise as well.

Security firm Sophos recently released some of its predictions for the upcoming year, and it listed HTML5 and other new web technologies as some of the major risks to keep an eye on in 2012.  Sophos claimed that the value that such technologies bring to the table cannot be denied, but the new attack vectors they bring with them are also undeniable.

HTML5’s predecessor, HTML4, has been relied on by the Web for some time.  HTML4’s simplicity as far as programming languages are concerned has required many add-ons in the way of Flash, Google Gears, and JavaScript, among others.  Such add-ons are often accompanied by vulnerabilities, which creates an environment that is littered with security issues.

Thanks to the improved technology in HTML5 that allows users to store large amounts of information in its full database, the need for most add-ons is eliminated.  James Lyne, senior technologist with Sophos, argued that while this convenience is certainly welcomed, the fact that data is stored within the browser makes it a huge target for cybercriminals and other dubious characters that dot the online landscape.  “Traditionally the browser has been a gateway for cyber criminals to get access to your PC, now they're going to be trying to attack the browser itself to steal its data,” he said.

Another problem that comes with the new wave of HTML5 adoption is clickjacking, where a user is tricked into clicking what seems to be a harmless link that actually allows hackers to control their computer or steal sensitive data.  HTML5 sandboxing heightens the clickjacking risk since web pages cannot detect where certain commands are originating.  Lyne said: “All that code that developers wrote to prevent applications from being automated and clickjacked by illicit parties now doesn't work.  They've implemented a security feature and inadvertently broken a more important one.”

According to Lyne, cookies are another area of concern with HTML5.  He noted: “HTML5 could have new super-uber-cookies.  If people don't code their sites properly the bad guys could code a huge database of the URLs that you've been to and track all of your field input. They could potentially capture masses of information.”

Is HTML5 all bad when it comes to security?  Of course not.  Lyne cites its client-side input validation, libraries that combat SQL injection problems, and reduction for the need of hole-filled add-ons as positives in the language’s favor.  He finished by adding: “Over time, HTML5 will fix many of the problems that we have, but as with any new technology you tend to get a regression in the first place.  Broadly speaking, we should charge full ahead in this direction, because Flash has been a pain and the new Web apps are really cool, but we also need to make sure that we're not casually adopting a nightmare.” 

For more on this topic, visit http://www.infoworld.com/d/security/html5-create-new-challenges-security-pros-in-2012-180827


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