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
$125.43
Apple Inc.
+2.18
GOOG
$551.12
Google Inc.
+2.78
MSFT
$41.35
Microsoft Corporation
+0.38
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

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

Android's Popular OfficeSuite Now A...
Once only available for Android devices, OfficeSuite has finally landed on the app store. The Mobile Systems app lets you view, edit, create, and share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents as well as convert them to/from PDFs. It's touted as being like having a desktop on your phone. OfficeSuite supports Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and... | Read more »
Fast & Furious: Legacy's Creati...
| Read more »
N-Fusion and 505's Ember is Totally...
| Read more »
These are All the Apple Watch Apps and G...
The Apple Watch is less than a month from hitting store shelves, and once you get your hands on it you're probably going to want some apps and games to install. Fear not! We've compiled a list of all the Apple Watch apps and games we've been able to find so far. Games Rules! By TheCodingMonkeys App Store Description: RULES! is a cute puzzle game... | Read more »
Appy to Have Known You - Lee Hamlet Look...
Being at 148Apps these past 2 years has been an awesome experience that has taught me a great deal, and working with such a great team has been a privilege. Thank you to Rob Rich, and to both Rob LeFebvre and Jeff Scott before him, for helping me to grow as a writer and for giving me the opportunity to write about what I love: playing innovative... | Read more »
Hands-On With Allstar Heroes - A Promisi...
Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Allstar Heroes looks a lot like a certain other recent action RPG release, but it turns out that while it’s not yet available here, Allstar Heroes has been around for much longer than that other title. Now that copyright row is out of the way, I can say that Allstar Heroes seems pretty fun. It’s not out here... | Read more »
Macho Man and Steve Austin Join the Rank...
WWE Immortals, by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WWE, has gotten a superstar update. You'll now have access to Macho Man Randy Savage and Steve Austin. Both characters have two different versions: Macho Man Randy Savage Renegade or Macho King, and Stone Cold Steve Austin Icebound Watcher or Texas Rattlesnake. | Read more »
Fearless Fantasy is Fantastic for the iF...
I actually had my first look at Fearless Fantasy last year at E3, but it was on a PC so there wasn't much for me to talk about. But now that I've been able to play with a pre-release version of the iOS build, there's quite a bit for me to talk about. | Read more »
MLB Manager 2015 (Games)
MLB Manager 2015 5.0.14 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 5.0.14 (iTunes) Description: Guide your favorite MLB franchise to glory! MLB Manager 2015, officially licensed by MLB.com and based on the award-winning Out of the Park Baseball series, is the most fun and realistic baseball game ever created for... | Read more »
Breath of Light (Games)
Breath of Light 1.0.1421 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1421 (iTunes) Description: Hold a quiet moment.Breath of Light is a meditative and beautiful puzzle game with a hypnotic soundtrack by Winterpark.BEAUTIFULInspired by modern minimalism combined with a range of meditative art styles, from Zen... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.