Greg's Bite: Mobile Device Insecurity
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's Bite: Mobile Device Insecurity


By Greg Mills

The location insecurity flap last summer really set the stage for the current public reaction to the Carrier IQ issue, which is going on right now. Frankly, when you fully understand the motives for the likes of AT&T, Sprint and other cellular networks in diagnosing and improving service, you can excuse them adding such software to the smartphones running on their systems. What is less forgivable is the lack of transparency in users knowing what software is lurking in the smartphones we pay a pretty penny for and trust with a growing amount of personal data.

While Apple responded within a day of the issue becoming a hot topic in the tech press, the Apple customization and use of Carrier IQ appears to have been more intrusive in the past. The major difference between Carrier IQ's function in Android phones and iPhone are strikingly different. Informed consent to diagnostic software being turned on and exactly what it does should be a fundamental right of the user.

Key logger software is really the worst of the worst intrusion into the privacy of the user. Passwords, personal messages and other information that by all standards of privacy ought to be kept secret are not only out of users' control, but they didn't even know the data was compromised. At a time when the tech world is seeing the "Cloud" become part of our mobile computer experience for syncing and accessing data anywhere, the potential for disastrous releases of that information are obvious.

If my system software on my smartphone is key logging every button I tap and sending it off to Mountain View, California, the next question is who has the access to see my data? Have Carrier IQ files been accessed by the government with or without a warrant? Could Carrier IQ's servers have been hacked? Would they admit it or even know it that had happened?

Can the Carrier IQ software be turned on remotely? Can it be reconfigured to be more intrusive and send key logger data to a third party? Couldn't Carrier IQ's software be the basis for malware that could infect smartphones without anyone knowing?

For all the above reasons, Carrier IQ, all the handset makers, Google's Android OS team, Apple's iOS team and the cellular networks have a lot of explaining to do and likely civil lawsuits to face alleging federal wire tapping charges and potentially criminal charges. Who is to blame and what part of this is criminal is sure to shake out over the next year or so.

In the meantime, with an iPhone you can turn off the diagnostic software, as far as anything I have read, by going to Settings>About>Diagnostics and Usage>select Automatically Send or Do Not Send. Think before you trust smartphones to keep anything private, you never know any more.

That is Greg's Bite.

 
AAPL
$96.32
Apple Inc.
-1.83
GOOG
$578.29
Google Inc.
-9.13
MSFT
$43.17
Microsoft Corpora
-0.41
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Despicable Me: Minion Rush is One Year O...
Despicable Me: Minion Rush is One Year Old, Gets its Biggest Update Yet Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Plants vs. Zombies 2 Enters the Second H...
Plants vs. Zombies 2 Enters the Second Half of the Dark Ages Posted by Ellis Spice on July 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Why Does It Spin? (Games)
Why Does It Spin? 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: THERE'S ONLY ONE RULE: DON'T TOUCH THE WALLS!Do you think you're able to follow this simple rule even if you would have to control a continuously rotating spinship through a colorful world full of narrow areas, moving... | Read more »
Ice Wings Plus (Games)
Ice Wings Plus 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: THE GREAT ENDLESS RUNNER OF COMBAT JETS IS BACK !!With more than 680.000 downloads in the App Store, Ice Wings: Skies of Steel has been converted in reference for the lovers of speed and fighter jets.ICE WINGS PLUS ELEVATES THE... | Read more »
Murl the Squirrel (Games)
Murl the Squirrel 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Meet Murl. He is teased by a group of flying squirrels because he can't fly. Determined to show them he's can fly, he meets with a ringmaster at a local circus. The ringmaster teaches Murl how to fly by blasting out of... | Read more »
Celleste (Games)
Celleste 0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 0.1 (iTunes) Description: Lots of cute action with amazing 3D graphics and a new type of gameplay! Take control over the forces of the universe to help a group of cows that inhabit a small planet, and keep them safe from all the dangers in a dreamy galaxy.-... | Read more »
Super Heavy Sword (Games)
Super Heavy Sword 0.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 0.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Get Ready to Get HEAVY!Monster Robot Studios presents SUPER Heavy Sword! The sequel to the smash hit HEAVY sword which has been downloaded over 1/2 million times! Take control of Pike or Princess Lucinda and set out to... | Read more »
Angels In The Sky (Games)
Angels In The Sky 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: - A.I.S will only run smoothly on iPhone 5s. It's NOT compatible with iPad, iPhone 5 or earlier devices.- In order to shoot, simply touch or holding down the weapon on the screen.Angels In the Sky is a new air combat... | Read more »
80 Days (Games)
80 Days 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: 1872, with a steampunk twist. Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the world in just eighty days. Choose your own route around a 3D globe, travelling by airship, submarine, mechanical camel, steam-train and more, racing... | Read more »
Micromon (Games)
Micromon 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 130+ Animated Monsters to Catch & Battle! No waiting, play at your own pace! Embark on an epic monster capture RPG like none other on mobile! Enter the massive world of Pixekai, where you can capture, train, and battle over 130... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.