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Smart Phones Get a Boost in Security Encryption

Scandal, identity theft, and stolen information are all very real modern day concerns that accompany the use of smart phones. Individuals are coming to rely on these little pocket computers for more and more of their daily communications. Not only are sensitive conversations broadcast over the airways but so are text messages and files that could result in serious problems if hijacked by a hacker.

Top level security encryption is not available for average users. However, the technology to securely encrypt calls and data IS becoming more prevalent and usable.

New Scientist Reports:

One such technology hails from GSMK, based in Berlin, Germany. Its CryptoPhones are commercial smartphones that use military-grade encryption algorithms to ensure that calls, texts and voicemails – when passing between people with similar secure devices – are all but unhackable. These cost around €2000 per handset. But now a rival has entered the fray with a much cheaper approach.

 

Silent Circle of Washington DC launched its real-time call encryption app Silent Phone for the iPhone in October, and next week it releases a version for Android. CEO Mike Janke, a former security expert with the US Navy Seals, claims demand for the service, which costs £13 per month, has taken him by surprise: “A-list Hollywood celebrities, special forces operatives, diplomats from nine nations, and a clutch of Fortune 100 companies have signed up to use our service in our first 40 days,” he says.

As it stands right now only high rollers and early adopters are getting involved with these innovative technologies. But should the prove to be secure and reliable it is only a matter of time until affordable competitors debut similar services.

What does this mean for the average cell phone user? The primary take away is that, for a small additional cost, individuals who often send sensitive information via their phone will be able to reduce the probability of identity theft. In the further future phones may even be able to integrate these technologies into their initial offerings, avoiding the extra cost altogether.

From a personal forensics standpoint, it’s good that a handful of companies are starting to think about real mobile security. We don’t personally think it will be integrated globally for quite a few years yet. Even when it is, hackers tend to be as crafty (or craftier) as the companies trying to enhance security. Therefore, the forensics game will continue.

 
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Comments (3)

  1. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks! Reply
    • Ruben, January 16, 2013
      I think that in a lot of cases, the solutions are right there, and can be epolxited through the current tools that are used. However, things such as live response/acquisition are "too new" and fly in the face of the traditional/purist approach to forensic analysis, and are hard for many to accept.Many times I've heard people say that they won't be doing live response until the data collected is accepted in court...and they say this without understanding that at one point, fingerprints, DNA, and even computer evidence itself weren't accepted in court. Reply
  2. Gaurav, January 16, 2013
    "I would suggest that the clhnleages don't come from "new" technologies being introduced, but rather from our community's myopic point of view"I believe the myopia is partially caused by the reliance on Forensic Suites. If a new technology or new threat comes along and the solution isn't built into your tool, and the instructions for working it are not in your help file, then panic sets in and the sky is falling and CF is dead.If like some of us, you use Suites when appropriate (i.e. when you can use their strengths) and you rely on maual operations and testing and experimentation, you either build a solution or have input to someone who builds a solution.Its kind of like your car, if you don't know how to perform basic safety and operational checks, and some basic maintenance then you freak out when you're stuck on the side of the freeway and don't know whats wrong.Bill Reply

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