What You Don’t Know About Mobile Hacking

Whatever programmed thoughts you have about your phone being safe as long as it stays in your pocket—erase them now. The truth is: it is relatively easy to hack into a phone, even if it is smart.

Today, phones aren’t just devices we use to place calls. We use them to transfer money from one bank account to another. We store passwords and personal information on them. We video chat, instant message, play games and more. We are always more attached to our phones than we think. Ever caught that nosy guy sitting next to you on the train catching a not-so-sneaky glimpse of what you were texting, reading or playing on your phone? You were really annoyed, (weren’t you?) even though chances are he had no idea of what you were actually doing.

Because phones are evolving to smartphones and able to do incredible things they weren’t able to before, we are depending on them more than ever. Of course, hackers know this. One easy way to hack into a phone involves only the art of deceit and nothing more. “For instance, a would-be hacker might call you and pose as the phone company saying they need to update your account and need your password. Or the hacker might get enough of your information to call the phone company and pose as you,” says Robert Siciliano, a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert.

In the case that you do get this type of call, remember that your mobile carrier will never call you to ask for a password, even if they are doing an “update.” The general rule you should follow is to never give out passwords or personal information via phone, unless you have actually called first to ask for an update of some sort.

Hackers also know that many carriers still use default passwords for the phones they issue and a good number of people just don’t know to change them. This makes their job super easy—they can simply look up default passwords provided by carriers and use them to their advantage.

The best precaution you can take is to change your password occasionally.

In the widely known News Corp. scandal, “the now-closed News of the World paid bribes to police and intercepted the voice mails of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.” (Aug16th, WSJ) It is extremely likely that these phone hacks intro voicemails involved easy access to default passwords of victims who hadn’t changed them on their phones.

More technically adept hackers may “get a bit of information about your account and send a phishing email purportedly from your carrier asking you to log in. At that point they will have your password and other sensitive information.”

Because smartphones allow applications to be run on them, hackers can easily attach malicious codes to these applications that are downloaded on a daily basis. The “safe-in-my-pocket” thoughts should disappear—your phone doesn’t even need to be seen to be hacked. Be cautious of the applications you download, especially if you’re an Android user. Publishers are allowed to download their applications right into the Android market, so be careful.

The bottom line is: Be cautious about the activity you conduct on your phone. Fewer purchases via a website from your mobile device, fewer risky downloads and more password changes today may mean fewer headaches tomorrow.

 

Source: http://technewscast.com/technology/tech-buzz/mobile-hacking-how-safe-is-your-smartphone/

The Truth About Jailbroken Phones

The Truth About Jailbroken Phones

First, let me point out that is not illegal to 1. Jailbreak a phone, 2. Use a Jailbroken phone and 3.  Download a Jailbroken application from an app store like Cydia.

On July 26th, 2010 US regulators lifted the cloud of any uncertainty when they announced it was legal to unlock or “jailbreak” an iPhone. The US Copyright Office stated claimed there is “no bias for copyright law to assist Apple in protecting its restrictive business model.”

Jailbreaking an iPhone means hacking into the devices operating system, essentially allowing a user to run applications on the phone that were not necessarily approved by Apple and not available on the iTunes store as a download.

Apple claimed that it was illegal to “unlock” a phone but never took legal action against any of the developers who use jailbroken phones and jailbroken applications downloadable from sites like Cydia which is operated by Jay Freeman, more fondly known in the iPhone “Jailbreak” community as Saurik.

In 2009, The Electronic Frontier Foundation asked regulators to add jailbreaking to a list of explicit exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions. The Copyright Office agreed with EFF, concluding that, “while a copyright owner might try to restrict the programs that can be run on a particular operating system, copyright law is not the vehicle for imposition of such restrictions.”
Currently, over 10% of all iPhone users are using Jailbroken phones and jailbroken applications today and that number continues to rise every day.
It should be understood that this decision which applies to all smartphones, (not Tablets), does not require mobile device manufactures to allow unlocking or jailbreaking a phone, it just makes it legal to circumvent any controls put in place to block a user from doing it.
Regulators agreed that “the activity of an iPhone owner who modifies his or her iPhone’s firmware/operating system in order to make it interoperable with an application that Apple has not approved, but that the iPhone owner wishes to run on the iPhone, fits comfortably within the four corners of fair use.”
The one disadvantage of jailbreaking an iPhone is that is voids the warranty with Apple.  Apple has declared that presently it will not change this policy and will only honor warranties on non-jailbroken phones.
To gain access to the many jailbroken applications on the market, one must visit Cydia. The iPhone needs to be jailbroken in order to start using the applications and there are many freely available tools courtesy of the hacker group iPhone Dev-Team.

 

Another important fact to mention is that one can reverse a jailbroken phone by just flashing it back to the base IOS which is done by restoring the original device IOS. For more information on jailbreaking your Apple iPhone, click here.
It’s only a matter of time when businesses realize that using a jailbroken or unlocked Smartphone is not only NOT illegal, but it will be necessary to allow the best and brightest applications to run on the device getting the most widely used communication method in use today for both personal and business purposes. With Mobile Compliance solutions in place, the enterprise can still be protected from lost or stolen phones, as well as monitoring the activity on the Apple iPhone.   Additionally, since 95% of Information Workers use self-purchased technology for work, they will want the freedom to be able to decide what they are allowed to use on the phone they paid for!

 

BROKER’S WORLD: Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Brokers Text Away

BROKER’S WORLD: Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Brokers Text Away

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to its brokers: U can text now.

The rule change, delivered in a memo in late January, allows brokers with firm-managed BlackBerries to use them for texting. It was prompted by requests from staff in the field, said a spokeswoman from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the brokerage joint venture of Morgan Stanley (MS). It makes the company the only big brokerage to allow the practice.

About 2,000 advisers and managers have firm-managed BlackBerries and are affected by the policy. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney will keep a record of the texts, to comply with industry regulations that it retain all electronic messages for three years. The company also says it will use the same process it has in place to review its staff’s emails.

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney broker based in the Midwest said he doesn’t expect to start texting with his clients, but since he only carries one phone, he’s happy to have an easier way to communicate with his wife.

“For me, it’s more about how can I be the most productive, and that helps a little bit,” said the broker, who requested that his name not be used.

Spokeswomen for Bank of America Corp.’s (BAC) Merrill Lynch, and UBS AG’s (UBS) UBS Wealth Management America said their companies don’t allow brokers to use company-issued mobile devices to text. A spokesman for Wells Fargo & Co.’s (WFC) Wells Fargo Advisors said the company doesn’t issue mobile devices to its financial advisers, and those who use their own aren’t allowed to text clients.

As forms of electronic communication multiply and become more popular, financial services companies are struggling to keep pace in terms of policies and regulatory compliance issues. With the growing influence of smart phones, as well as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the industry has been debating how to help brokers expand the ways they can reach out to clients.

“I think there is a very keen interest in the industry right now on how firms can utilize different technology to engage in business communications,” said Joseph Price, senior vice president of the advertising-regulation division of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-policing organization.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s new policy could put it a step ahead of the curve. Dan Nemo, chief operating officer of TextGuard, a company that helps firms monitor and archive communications sent through mobile devices, said he has spoken to brokers who have been frustrated when they have received texts from clients, but couldn’t reply.

“The broker wants to communicate with the customer and client the way the customer and client wants to communicate with them,” Nemo said.

(TALK BACK: We invite readers to send us comments on this or other financial news topics. Please email us at TalkbackAmericas@dowjones.com. Readers should include their full names, work or home addresses and telephone numbers for verification purposes. We reserve the right to edit and publish your comments along with your name; we reserve the right not to publish reader comments.)

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Apple iPhone IOS Enterprise Use and Mobile Compliance

iPhone Monitoring

With the increase,  (daily) into the enterprise marketplace, Apple’s IOS is missing a major feature prohibiting the use of iPhone’s as it pertains to the Electronic Communications Compliance rules and regulations for archiving and monitoring messages.  Presently, there is no way for a compliance solution like TextGuard to be able to capture the incoming and outgoing messages on the iPhone device.

Companies in every industry face many legal and regulatory challenges when it comes to electronically stored information (ESI) and messaging.  This does not change when that information is on a smartphone or PDA.  All US based companies are required to comply with the E-Discovery requirements of FINRA, FRCP as well as  Sarbanes-Oxley. Several industries impose additional complicated burdens due to sensitivity and risk. The financial services and healthcare industries face the most rigorous requirements and penalties for non compliance.

iPhone has been ranked as the most popular smartphone for both enterprise users as well as consumers.  In fact, the overall consensus is that with the exception of battery life, satisfaction is close to 100%!   However, don’t ask the legal department or compliance administrators at companies who have employees using their iPhones for work.  They continue to be challenged as to how to monitor and archive the SMS messages which are being sent to and from the device.

We continue to (try to) work with Apple in allowing the required API’s for developers / users as well as the carriers who will also benefit from a mobile compliance solution for the Apple iPhone.  Please contact me if you would like to be informed of any updates as things progress.

The Mobile Communications Industry Demonstrates Momentum

The GSMA today reported that more than 49,000* visitors from 200 countries attended the 2010 GSMA Mobile World Congress, the premier event for the mobile communications industry. The four-day conference and exhibition attracted executives from the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations. 54 per cent of Mobile World Congress attendees hold C-level positions, including more than 2,800 CEOs.

“It’s a hugely exciting time to be in the mobile communications industry and the extremely strong attendance at the 2010 Mobile World Congress underscores that,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Limited.  “The innovation that is the hallmark of our industry was on display front and centre this week, from the insightful presentations in our conference programme to the demonstrations of new devices, technologies and services in the exhibition halls.  Once again, Mobile World Congress stands out as the must-attend event for the global communications industry.”

During the event, leaders from companies including Alcatel-Lucent, BBC, Bharti Airtel, China Unicom, Ericsson, Huawei, KDDI, RIM, Samsung, Spotify, Telstra and Vodafone, among others, discussed and debated the trends and issues which are shaping the mobile industry today and into the future.  In a Mobile World Congress first, Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt delivered a Mobile World Live keynote to a standing-room only crowd in Barcelona; the session has also been viewed by more than 35,000 people to date via the Mobile World Live portal.  To access the replay of the Mobile World Live keynote, as well as interviews with the industry’s leading executives, please visit www.mobileworldlive.com.

More than 20,000 people visited the inaugural App Planet, a focused event designed to bring together the many critical elements of the broad mobile application ecosystem together in one location. Google, Motorola, RIM, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone and WIPJam each held application developer conferences (ADC) within App Planet.  Overall, more than 6,000 developers attended Mobile World Congress this year.

The 2010 Congress featured 1,300 exhibiting companies and occupied more than 56,000 net square metres of exhibition and business meeting space.  Nearly 2,400 international print, Web and broadcast media attended the event to analyse and report on the many significant industry announcements made at the Congress.

“The GSMA is committed to holding the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona through 2012,” continued Hoffman. “We thank the city of Barcelona, Catalonia, Fira de Barcelona and all our Barcelona partners for being such warm and efficient hosts, and we look forward to being back here next year.”

Sponsors for the 2010 Mobile World Congress included LG Electronics as Platinum Sponsor and Generalitat de Catalunya as Mobile Innovations Platinum Sponsor.  For more information on the 2010 Mobile World Congress, please visit www.mobileworldcongress.com.

Note to editors

*This figure includes all attendees for the event, including delegates, exhibitors, contractors and media

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com or the GSMA corporate website at www.gsmworld.com.

Consumer loyalty patterns reflecting intense competition in mobile

New research suggests that mobile consumers in Western Europe are displaying less loyalty than those in North America by spreading their mobile connections across multiple operators. The new study, commissioned by Wireless Intelligence, aims to identify the impact that multiple mobile connections per user is having on customer loyalty patterns (a mobile connection is defined as either a SIM card or a unique mobile phone number in markets where SIM cards are not used).

More than two thirds of users with multiple mobile connections in the US and Canada remained loyal to a single mobile operator, while less than 40 percent of consumers in the ‘big five’ European markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) were likely to keep all their mobile connections with one operator. The least ‘loyal’ market in the study was Italy – a market where the vast majority of consumers maintain more than one mobile connection (around 1.77 SIM cards per user). According to the study, 81 percent of Italians spread their mobile connections across different network providers with only 19 percent remaining loyal. This trend is magnified by the absence of handset subsidies and the large prepaid connections base (prepaid accounted for 84 percent of Italian mobile connections in 2Q09). This has led to a price war in the prepaid segment, which is driving down effective price per minute and voice revenues. In order to differentiate and generate additional profits, Italian operators are now focusing on value-added services and innovative propositions to push their brands forward. In this context, our research also found that Italy has is approaching saturation with ‘real’ penetration currently at 85 percent – compared to reported per-connections penetration at 151 percent. The study found that Italian women were less loyal than men (83 percent compared to 78 percent), and that users in the 20 to 30 year age range were least likely to stay loyal to a single operator.

Compliance By MobileGuard!

By making the most of the advantages offered by mobile communication devices your staff can work harder, smarter and faster than ever before. However, at the same time you have the responsibility of making sure that your company is operating within the compliance requirements set out by the regulatory bodies who oversee your industry.

In general, these regulations cover several key areas: ensuring that mobile communications are secure, archiving all messages for retrieval if required, and monitoring employee communications. If these conditions are not met then it could mean serious consequences for your company. In the past, companies who have been convicted of not meeting compliance requirements have been fined anywhere from several thousand to millions of dollars.

MobileGuard’s solutions enable your company to maintain efficiency using mobile technology while working within current regulatory legislation and recently passed mobile mandates. With a MobileGuard solution in place, all mobile communications are monitored and archived according to the policies and settings you define. This technology is easily upgrade-able with new mobile communication compliance regulations when they arise.

Having a MobileGuard mobile communication compliance solution in place eliminates the data security problems presented by the use of mobile communication devices in industries where sensitive information is exchanged. Your staff can rely on the efficiency of instant communications, while you can have the confidence of knowing that the system in place will protect your company from liability.

MobileGuard provides complete mobile device compliance and message archiving for every industry, so your business can meet existing and future electronic information storage and retrieval regulations.

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