Posts Tagged Smartphones

Your Apps Are Following You

From The Wall Street Journal:

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University concluded that a dozen or so popular Android apps collected device location – GPS coordinates accurate to within 50 meters – an average 6,200 times, or roughly every three minutes, per participant over a two-week study period.

The researchers recruited 23 users of Android version 4.3 from Craigslist and the Carnegie Mellon student body. Participants were allowed to use their own choice of apps after installing software that noted app requests for a variety of personal information; not only location but also contacts, call logs, calendar entries, and camera output. They weren’t told the purpose of the study and were screened to weed out people who had a technical background or strong views about privacy.

 

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Password Security Compromised On Andriod

From ArsTechnica:

Clark agreed that any Android-based password manager that uses the OS clipboard is susceptible. He strongly recommends that people stop using any app setup that works this way. Many apps use standalone browsers, browser extensions, or software keyboards to enter credentials into login fields. There is no evidence they are susceptible to sniffing. The reason ClipCaster takes special aim at LastPass, Clark said, is simple. It just happened to be the manager he installed on his phone. There are no reports that password managers running on iOS or Windows Phone are vulnerable. But there can be way to know for sure, since Ars is unaware of the any comprehensive study testing the security of managers on those platforms.

 

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Primer for Protesters and “Anti-Government Extremists”

From EFF:

Cell Phone Guide For US Protesters, Updated 2014 Edition

With major protests in the news again, we decided it’s time to update our cell phone guide for protestors. A lot has changed since we last published this report in 2011, for better and for worse. On the one hand, we’ve learned more about the massive volume of law enforcement requests for cell phone—ranging from location information to actual content—and widespread use of dedicated cell phone surveillance technologies. On the other hand, strong Supreme Court opinions have eliminated any ambiguity about the unconstitutionality of warrantless searches of phones incident to arrest, and a growing national consensus says location data, too, is private.

Protesters want to be able to communicate, to document the protests, and to share photos and video with the world. So they’ll be carrying phones, and they’ll face a complex set of considerations about the privacy of the data those phones hold. We hope this guide can help answer some questions about how to best protect that data, and what rights protesters have in the face of police demands. Read the rest of this entry »

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Smartphones Track Your Movements

From KOMONews:

Students at the University of Washington volunteered their phones to see how easy it can be to see where the device has been. The frequent locations setting creates a map, and tapping on a specific locations reveals the dates and times of a particular visit and even how long you were there.

The students were taken aback that it was so easy to track their history.

“That’s kind of crazy,” Sebastian Aste said. “It’s interesting how accessible your life can be.” 

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A Prize Is Needed For Easy Encryption

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In an era when email and messaging services are being regularly subject to attacks, surveillance, and compelled disclosure of user data, we know that many people around the world need secure end-to-end encrypted communications tools so that service providers and governments cannot read their messages. Unfortunately, the software that has traditionally been used for these purposes, such as PGP and OTR, suffers from numerous usability problems that make it impractical for many of the journalists, activists and others around the world whose lives and liberty depend on their ability to communicate confidentially. Read the rest of this entry »

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States Cracking Down On Filming Police

From Gizmodo:

The legal justification for arresting the “shooter” rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited. Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland are among the 12 states in which all parties must consent for a recording to be legal unless, as with TV news crews, it is obvious to all that recording is underway. Since the police do not consent, the camera-wielder can be arrested. Most all-party-consent states also include an exception for recording in public places where “no expectation of privacy exists” (Illinois does not) but in practice this exception is not being recognized.

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Andriod Backup Services May Not Be Secure

If you use an Android device you may want to review how you store your settings and passwords.

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

If you have a recent Android phone or tablet, chances are you take advantage of a convenient feature to backup your application settings and wireless network passwords. This feature is enabled by default in Android 2.2 and later, and it can make switching to a new device or replacing a lost phone a quicker process. If you haven’t examined all the settings for your phone, you might not know if this setting is enabled.

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Where2Shoot App Finds Local Ranges

Via Guns.com

Where2Shoot allows users to search for ranges near their current location or by zip code and state. The search then provides specific information on each range, such as the shooting activities offered, accessibility and contact information. The app also includes news, safety information and tips for interested shooters.

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Smartphones Leak Encryption

Technology Review reports that an attacker my be able to pick up encryption keys from cellphones with a TV antenna:

The antenna was detecting radio signals “leaking” from the transistors on the chip inside the phone performing the encryption calculations. Transistors leak those signals when they are active, so the pattern of signals from a chip provides an eavesdropper a representation of the work the chip is doing. When Kenworthy tuned his equipment to look in the right place, a clear, regular pattern of peaks and troughs appeared on his computer screen. They could be seen to come in two varieties, large and small, directly corresponding to the string of digital 1s and 0s that make up the encryption key.

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NSA Creates Secure Call System

Technology Review reports that the NSA has devised a system in which phones with the Android software are able to make encrypted phone calls.

Let’s hope that this tech trickles down to the consumer market.

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Web Links Could Compromise Your Smartphone

Technology Review reports that if you have a smartphone that runs a version of Android, be careful about the links you click:

A chilling demonstration to a small, packed room at the RSA security conference today showed how clicking a single bad Web link while using a phone running Google’s Android operating system could give an attacker full remote control of your phone.

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Smartphones, Jailbreaking and the New Battle Front for Enterprise Security

From: IDGA

… So why is this so bad? First and foremost jailbreaking is a hack! Users are inviting a third party developer to hack your device. Plain and simple. Most recent versions of these tools are able to run over a simple webpage that is exploiting a few unpatched vulnerabilities in the smart phone operating system code. This risk was exposed last year when a worm “rick rolled” jailbroken iPhone users, exploiting a default password setting in secure shell daemon installed as part of the jailbreaking process.

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