Security in mobile devices. Issues concerning regular cellphones, smartphones, tablet computers and other portable information devices all fit into this category.

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206
votes
15answers
10k views

Tracing the location of a mobile IP from an email

I'm a TV scriptwriter - and not hugely tech-savvy, so please bear with me... If the police have an email, sent by a suspect over a 3G or 4G network, could they use the IP address (since they know ...
98
votes
9answers
65k views

Why can we still crack snapchat photos in 12 lines of Ruby?

Just came across this bit of ruby that can be used to decrypt snapchat photos taken out of the cache on a phone, apparently adapted from here. To my surprise, it worked no problem, considering the ...
72
votes
7answers
26k views

How hard is it to intercept SMS (two-factor authentication)?

A lot of two-factor authentication mechanisms use SMS to deliver single-use passphrase to the user. So how secure is it? Is it hard to intercept the SMS message containing the passphrase? Do mobile ...
68
votes
7answers
20k views

Touch Screen Password Guessing by Fingerprint Trace

After eating some garlic bread at a friend's who is not security-aware, she managed to quickly determine the PIN code to unlock the screen of my Samsung SIII. She figured this out by simply holding ...
59
votes
3answers
5k views

Why aren't IMSI catchers rendered ineffective by standard MITM defenses?

There's been a lot of reporting in the past few years about law enforcement agencies using IMSI catchers (also known as Stingrays after a popular brand of them) to intercept cellular communications. ...
46
votes
1answer
11k views

How does a SIM card prevent cloning?

I have read a few articles about SIM cards, stating that the chip inside them uses some cryptographic magic to prevent people from cloning your number. This to me seems borderline impossible, given ...
39
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do mobile apps have fine-grained permissions while desktop apps don't? [duplicate]

Androids apps use fine-grained permissions for security reasons, iOS apps (afaik) do it as well. Windows 8.1 applications don't have a permission schema like that, all Linux versions which I have ...
36
votes
5answers
71k views

How to trace a (mobile) phone?

Even since growing up, I've watched films in which the "bad guy" is repeatedly tracked down when they call the police or FBI or police force de jour. They always have "about 30 seconds". Regardless ...
36
votes
6answers
26k views

What is preventing us from sniffing the mobile phone communication?

I'm learning wireless penetration testing. It really is amazing. But it made me wonder, what about mobile phones? They are also means of wireless communication. So, our entire voice must be in the air ...
33
votes
5answers
20k views

Can a powered down cell phone be turned on remotely?

I know this is tin-foil hat fodder, but at least one judicial opinion referenced a bug that could track/listen in on the subject "whether the phone was powered on or off," although that may have been ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I verify HTTPS connections in Mobile apps?

There are a lot of mobile apps nowadays with payment gateways support. However, unlike desktop browsers, these mobile apps do not show us an 'Address bar' by which we can identify a HTTPS connection. ...
32
votes
4answers
7k views

Why is GSM still used?

GSMs vulnerabilities have been known a long time now. UMTS was supposed to fix those problems. Why is GSM still used?
31
votes
7answers
4k views

Best practices for securing an android device

Does anyone have any suggestions on securing an Android device? I'm not particularly interested in enterprise level software - I'm looking to secure my own ZTE Blade phone which has a lot of personal ...
29
votes
3answers
13k views

Why do I need to hide my phone's IMEI

If it is a secret then why is it visible on the box, invoice and the back of the phone? If it is not a secret then why does it have to be blurred when it gets posted online?
29
votes
1answer
3k views

How does a new SMS message overwrite a previous one?

During a talk from a vendor, the speaker mentioned that their product used a "little known feature" of SMS in order to overwrite the last text message received from them. This feature was being used ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do web sites show my iPhone using different IP addresses for HTTP and HTTPS (cellular only)?

While testing a recent adtech integration I noticed something I can't explain. The iPhone uses two IP addresses. Seemingly one for HTTP and one for HTTPS. To further confuse things it only happens ...
28
votes
4answers
20k views

Is HTML5 vibrate feature a security vulnerability?

While surfing a news website on my mobile, I receive a virus infection alert warning that triggers my phone to vibrate incessantly. The alert looks like the following: I didn't expect my phone to ...
28
votes
1answer
7k views

iOS Encryption Details

Following on from this question, what resources are available relating to the technical specifics of how apple implement encryption on their iOS 4.x series devices? The Apple marketing material here, ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Security implications of rooting Android

My Android smart phone has fancy features that I can get only if I root it, e.g., free-wifi tethering or Cisco VPN (with group name/password). However, the procedure to root my phone makes me ...
26
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do a lot of Android apps (like Linkedin) require many unrelated privileges?

I wanted to install the Linkedin app on my Android phone and I was shocked when it asked for nearly all possible permissions including reading all of my private data and calendar data. Why does any ...
26
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I choose a strong password that is easy use on a smartphone?

Typing on a smartphone is tedious. Special characters are the hardest; lowercase letters are generally the easiest. But even a long all-letter passphrase like "correct horse battery staple" is ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the attack tree to intercept traffic on Wimax?

My current understanding is that sniffing traffic on 4G (lets use Wimax and LTE for the purposes of this question) and 3G is not a simple matter and either requires you setting up a fake base station ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

How does end to end encryption work with whatsapp web?

Since today I have noticed whatsapp is using end to end encryption. However web.whatsapp.com is also still working. Does whatsapp establish a connection with my phone to keep things secure?
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Is mosh now recommended by the security experts? (2014)

Mosh has been around for a while now. Although it's claimed to be "a replacement for SSH" by its authors, mosh does actually depend on ssh to do the initial authentication, after which an instance of ...
18
votes
4answers
12k views

Are SMS,MMS stored on the network service providers' servers?

Are SMS and MMS sent via a mobile phone stored on telecommunication service providers' servers before passing them to the recipient? Does it depend on the country or does every network service ...
18
votes
3answers
608 views

Android security without updates

I have an android phone which, like many others, has quickly become unsupported and is not receiving any updates. At the same time there are publicly available exploits for privilege-escalation ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Security threats of wireless charging?

It is well known that plugging your mobile device for charging in public/uncontrolled places through Micro-USB can be a security hazard. USB protocol supports much more than just transferring power, ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Is my phone carrier monitoring my traffic?

Today I started using a VPN on my phone (nexus 5), and after I switched on mobile data and turned off my WiFi, I received a text message from my carrier offering me roaming packages for Europe (which ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Security risks of scanning an unknown QR code

What are the security risks of scanning a QR code from an untrusted source? If the QR code was constructed by an attacker, what can the attacker do to me? Do widely used QR scanners have any known ...
17
votes
3answers
884 views

What prevents people getting charged over NFC in crowded places?

I don't have an NFC-enabled device and I couldn't find any information about this in Google. What is it that protects me against an attacker with a portable NFC terminal charging payments by just ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

How do anti-virus apps for Android work?

There seems to be a lot of anti-virus apps for Android. On a desktop or server an anti-virus must run with super-user privileges, however I am pretty sure these mobile anti-viruses are running as an ...
16
votes
7answers
16k views

What are the realistic, and most secure crypto for Symmetric, Asymmetric, Hash, Message Authentication Code ciphers?

I'm interested in updating this two pronged question for 2011: What cryptology is most appropriate for low-powered devices (such as a cellphone), and yet still effective? What cryptology is most ...
16
votes
3answers
72k views

Is it possible to make a phone call appear to come from another phone, even to the network provider?

Quick Question Is it possible that I could call a mobile number, but have the call forwarded through another number active on a different phone that someone else has? I have had unlimited access to ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Android API/development security pitfalls

What are the most important security issues that developers of Android apps need to know about? What are the biggest pitfalls or kinds of vulnerabilities that they need to watch out for? One ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Ingress and Pokemon Go collect a lot of data - what impact could this have on my privacy or security?

The Augmented Reality games from Niantic, Ingress, (where players travel to specific GPS locations to destroy and rebuild virtual targets, link locations, and team up with other players in order to ...
16
votes
4answers
31k views

How do location-based apps avoid getting cheated by emulated GPS?

Some apps like Foursquare require the user to "check in" at physical places, in order to gain money benefits. Given that emulated GPS are available for customized versions of Android, it sounds easy ...
16
votes
2answers
605 views

Mitigating the loss of a mobile phone used for second-factor login

Take the following scenario: John is using GMail for his primary email account and LastPass as his password management system. Both of these accounts are using the Google Authenticator mobile ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

What risk does Carrier IQ pose, exactly?

There has been a lot of discussion about Carrier IQ, monitoring software that is pre-installed on many Android phones. Many allegations have been thrown out. My questions: What exactly does Carrier ...
15
votes
4answers
16k views

Ensure web service only accessed by authorized applications

Preface My mobile app allows users to create accounts on my service. In addition to being able to log in with external authentication providers, like Facebook, I want to give the user the option to ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What measures should be taken when losing an iPad

When losing a tablet that has been used to access email accounts , beside changing the passwords, is there anything more can be done? What are the most common problems that might occur if the iPad ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Tools to help test the security of Android applications [closed]

What are some decent frameworks to test the security of Android applications? With frameworks I mean either software based to automatically scan these applications or a guide (like OWASP has for ...
15
votes
1answer
577 views

What did Blackberry do wrong?

The NIST defines a vulnerability in RIM Blackberry encryption discovered last October. Apparently, Blackberry's flavour of PBKDF2 was weak. They say: The offline backup mechanism in Research In ...
15
votes
1answer
452 views

What unique device fingerprinting information can an iOS8 app collect?

As an addition to this question: What unique fingerprinting information can an iOS7 app collect? What remaining device fingerprinting privacy/security vulnerabilities still exist as of iOS 8? Can ...
14
votes
7answers
4k views

Are jailbroken iPhones an enterprise security risk?

Background My company is currently in the process of rolling out support for the iPhone. As a part of this rollout, they are requiring employees to install an application on their phones that allows ...
14
votes
4answers
12k views

Is Android's Password Screen Lock Enough Data Theft Protection?

With the exception of the SD card data, is Android's built-in password/pin/pattern screen lock enough to protect data stored in your phone's internal storage in case of theft? Or can a thief simply by-...
14
votes
5answers
13k views

What SSL key should I make for IIS: RSA or DH? What bit length is appropriate?

I'm creating an SSL cert for my IIS server and need to know when I should choose the Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider or the Microsoft DH SChannel Cryptographic Provider. Question 1 Why ...
14
votes
6answers
19k views

Securing an API for mobile access

I've built a nice REST/JSON API that is used by other companies (our clients) as a B2B service. Each of our clients has a username/password pair, and we also do HTTPS and validate the source IP of ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Protecting cellphones from USB attacks (a.k.a. Juice Jacking)

We have several smartphone with encrypted data on them (BES, iPhone, Android) and want to prevent an unauthorized person from downloading information from the device via USB. The visual assumption ...
14
votes
3answers
14k views

How secure is Android's facial recognition?

Android supports using facial recognition for unlocking your phone. How secure is that mechanism? For instance, if someone has a good quality picture of your face, can they defeat the facial ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

Cordova/Phonegap: RefreshToken in localstorage

I am (partly) following a tutorial to develop a cordova app, based on angularJS. The author stores the refresh token in local storage, which was said to be very bad practice in one of the comments on ...