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
$100.35
Apple Inc.
-0.06
GOOG
$732.66
Alphabet Inc.
+8.54
MSFT
$52.32
Microsoft Corporation
+0.43
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

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

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a few tips and tricks for you. [Read more] | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to help get you up to speed. [Read more] | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater Greg Lutzka. Skateboard Party 3 brings the thrill of skateboarding to your mobile device! Hop on your... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube?Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his family. | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.