timothy from the did-anyone-else-pack-your-cellphone-today dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Kate Murphy writes that as cellphones have gotten smarter, they have become less like phones and more like computers, and that with more than a million phones worldwide already hacked, technology experts expect breached, infiltrated or otherwise compromised cellphones to be the scourge of 2012. Cellphones are often loaded with even more personal information than PCs, so an undefended or carelessly operated phone can result in a breathtaking invasion of individual privacy as well as the potential for data corruption and outright theft. But there are a few common sense ways to protect yourself: Avoid free, unofficial versions of popular apps that often have malware hidden in the code, avoid using Wi-Fi in a Starbucks or airport which leaves you open to hackers, and be wary of apps that want permission to make phone calls, connect to the Internet or reveal your identity and location."
Pickens continues: "One common ruse is a man-in-the middle attack when a target receives a text message that claims to be from his or her cell service provider asking for permission to 'reprovision' or otherwise reconfigure the phone's settings due to a network outage or other problem. Don't click 'O.K.' Call your carrier to see if the message is bogus. For the more paranoid, there are supersecure smartphones like the Sectéra Edge by General Dynamics, commissioned by the Defense Department for use by soldiers and spies which may soon be available to the public in the near future. 'It's like any arms race,' says mobile security consultant Michael Pearce. 'No one wins, but you have to go ahead and fight anyway.'"
Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists
stand on each other's toes.
-- Richard Hamming