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.