Loophole revealed on ringtone websites

Internet Business News

QPass, a security company, has revealed that due to a loophole on some ringtone websites many consumers have been able to download ringtones completely free of charge. QPass surveyed the websites of 42 mobile operators and 58 online stores as part of the company's research.

The findings show that approximately one-third of ringtone websites based in Europe are at risk of the security breach and the company has predicted that losses for ringtone retailers are on the increase as users download increasing amounts of data to their handsets.

According to QPass, many websites allow tunes to be previewed before being bought and this inadvertently provides people with the opportunity to copy them to a PC. Once downloaded, the ringtones can be transferred to a handset through a direct cable connection, on a memory card or via Bluetooth short-range radio technology, reported the BBC.

The loophole could be costing ringtone retailers more than EUR50m a year, QPass said.

The findings varied greatly from country to country with just 20% of UK-based websites being at risk from ringtone theft compared with 60% of German sites.