Secure WAP phones by the New Year

Baltimore to unveil WAP phones with encrypted transmission for e-commerce

Computer security giant Baltimore Technology has revealed that the first high-security WAP phones may hit the streets in Britain as early as the New Year.

Paddy Holahan, executive vice president of marketing for Baltimore Technology has divulged that the first Internet enabled mobile phone utilising Baltimore's PKI encryption technology could be here as soon as January. "The first of these phones will be out in 2000, in fact very nearly this year."

It's a shame that Britain's shoppers won't be able to utilise secure WAP transactions in time for Christmas but this is still a bonus for those consumers and businesses hoping to take advantage of mobile e-commerce.

Baltimore produced a white paper in October outlining its plans to dominate the future of mobile communications WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) security.

The paper describes the implementation of a security infrastructure based on PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) encryption and digital signature generating SIMM cards. Based on the same technology that currently enables online transactions to take place using PKI encryption over the Internet. Baltimore will provide a "WTLS Toolkit" to allow PKI encrypted communication to take place across WAP and will provide SIMM card capable of generating the digital signatures needed to authorise the use of encryption keys.

Paddy Holahan, executive vice president of marketing for Baltimore Technology, believes that WAP offers a fresh challenge to those in the computer security industry. "It's just like the Internet all over again," he says. "There are all the same security problems but the idea is to make WAP even more secure."

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