Newsletters
The Enterprise Security Supersite NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Network Security Viruses & Malware Cybercrime Security Solutions More Topics...
Cybercrime
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Report: NSA Can Now Spy On Smartphone Data
Report: NSA Can Now Spy On Smartphone Data

By Jennifer LeClaire
September 9, 2013 2:47PM

Bookmark and Share
There are certainly cases where law enforcement can get access to information on smartphones as long as they have the physical devices. That's not necessarily new. It's hard to know if there's a reason to be concerned about claims that the NSA can spy on smartphone data from all the leading manufacturers.
 


Last week, The New York Times suggested the National Security Agency (NSA) could beat your encryption with a little help from supercomputers, court orders, arm twisting and technical prowess. Now, Spiegel Online International, a German news outlet, is suggesting the NSA can spy on smartphone data from all leading manufacturers, including Apple iPhones, Android devices and even hardened BlackBerry phones.

Spiegel claims it has seen top secret NSA documents that reveal it's possible for the agency to see even the most private data on your smartphone, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where you've been. NSA has also reportedly set up specific working spy groups for each operating system.

Not intending to cause widespread panic, the media outlet noted that: "The material viewed by Spiegel suggests that the spying on smartphones has not been a mass phenomenon. It has been targeted, in some cases in an individually tailored manner and without the knowledge of the smartphone companies."

Should We Be Concerned?

Tim Worstall, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, reiterated that this is not a mass surveillance scheme. In other words, he explained, this is not akin to the agency's habit of trying to read all the Internet traffic it can lay its hands on.

"Rather, this is much more like dedicated surveillance of named individuals," Worstall said. "It's that they are now capable of doing this across the various different operating systems in a manner akin to the sort of thing the FBI might do if it had a warrant to allow it."

We turned to Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, to get his thoughts on the latest NSA news. He told us part of the problem with "Snowden" revelations is that there aren't a lot of details. The Spiegel story is no different.

"There are certainly cases that we've known about for a while where law enforcement can get access to information on smartphones as long as they have the physical device," Hall said. "That's not necessarily new and the reporting wasn't clear as to whether or not this is a remote access capability. It's hard to know if there's a reason to be concerned."

What's New Here?

There are existing concerns with iPhone and Android devices. Hall explained that enabling a PIN, for example, encrypts the iPhone -- but it's easy enough to break through that encryption. In fact, Hall said law enforcement can crack a four-digit pin in about 13 minutes.

"We know there's a forensic waiting list at Apple where you can send in a device and when they get to it they will somehow bypass the pin setting and encryption. There are similar stories related to Android platforms. It's hard to know what new revelation is in this report," Hall said.

"If the NSA could gain remote access or if they could grab stuff off your iCloud that would be new. What would also be new is seeing in real time what you are doing on your device over the air," Hall said. "There is particularly sensitive information on phones and in the next year or so you will be able to download medical records to your phone."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:





 Cybercrime
1.   Canada Says China Hacked Gov't
2.   Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
3.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
4.   Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
5.   Hackers Breached StubHub Accounts


advertisement
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Even if your data was compromised.
Average Rating:
Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
34 institutions, four European countries
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions of Users at Risk
Having this fake ID is nothing to brag about, even if you are a minor. The “Fake ID” Android flaw drops malware into smartphone apps. It can steal credit card data and even take over your device.
 
FTC Wants Fix for 'Perfect Scam' of Mobile Cramming
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidelines to curb “mobile cramming,” a troublesome practice that adds unauthorized third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
Enterprise Security Today
Home/Top News | Network Security | Viruses & Malware | Cybercrime | Security Solutions | Mobile Security | Disaster Recovery | Windows Security
Data Security | EST Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.