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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85
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9answers
38k 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 ...
62
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
35
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
27
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
27
votes
1answer
6k views

iOS Encryption Details

Following on from this question Does anyone have any details/resources on the technical specifics of how apple implement encryption on their iOS 4.x series devices? The Apple marketing material here, ...
26
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
10k views

What is preventing us from sniffing the mobile phone communcation?

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 ...
24
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Security implications of rooting your android phone

My android smart phone has fancy features that I can get if and only if I root it, e.g., free-wifi tethering or Cisco VPN (with group name/password). However, the procedure to root my phone has me ...
18
votes
4answers
8k 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 (http://www.politechbot.com/docs/fbi.ardito.roving.bug.opinion.120106.txt) referenced a bug that could track/listen in on the ...
17
votes
2answers
566 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, ...
15
votes
4answers
1k 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
1k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
383 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
3k 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
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
21k views

How can I identify my phone call is being tracked or tapped?

When I read about mobile call tracing, the hackers/security experts track and record mobile phone calls somehow. Is it possible for us to identify that our call is tracked by someone or heard by ...
13
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
303 views

Malicious QR Code and Mitigation

I just started reading a little on QR code, so I'm not entirely familiar with QR Code capabilities, but a thought crossed my mind today. I scanned a QR Code on a postcard I received, and it ...
13
votes
3answers
537 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Ingress collects a lot of data - what impact could this have on my privacy or security?

The Augmented Reality game from Google, Ingress, has players travel to specific GPS locations to destroy and rebuild virtual targets, link locations, and team up with other players in order to carry ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Tools to help test the security of Android applications

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 ...
12
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Smartphone / GSM Sniffer

This question would be in the category of SmartPhone Sniffers. So we have sniffers that can show the packets that are being sent across a wired or wireless (802.11) network. I am just performing a ...
12
votes
2answers
861 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How are mobile telephony networks like LTE and HSPA encrypted?

How are mobile telephony networks like LTE (4G) and HSPA (3G) encrypted? between what parts is the communication encrypted? who has access to the keys? is symmetric or asymmetric encryption used? is ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

QR codes that can't be copied - possible?

I assume this is impossible, but I need to find a barcode (that can contain a url, i.e., a QR style one). It has to be photographed by our smartphone app, but the image will not be changed over a ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Best practices for securing an iPhone

As this question on voicemail protection got answers veering more to protecting the mobile phone, I thought I should add a specific question on this topic. There is already a question on protecting ...
11
votes
4answers
589 views

Vulnerabilities common only in mobile solutions?

I was wondering if there are any threats for web-applications used on mobile phones that haven't been known in the "full size" browsers earlier. I haven't heard of any serious or common problems that ...
11
votes
1answer
337 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
566 views

iPhone Tracking debacle - risks and countermeasures

For those of you who are not familiar with the topic, a quick search will turn up a lot of hits, e.g. see the researcher's report at Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is recording your moves - O'Reilly ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Do mobile OS's provide crypto-quality randomness?

Which mobile OS's provide a primitive to generate crypto-quality randomness that applications can use? On desktop systems, these features are pervasive. Unix provides /dev/urandom. Windows provides ...
10
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
617 views

What else can be sniffed?

I'm a pentest newbie. Recently I've learned about sniffing in LANs. From the books and internet resources I'm studying, the sniffing (or packet capture) is always done on either Wired LANs (Ethernet ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

iOS/Android Pen-Test

This question might be vague, that is because I am not sure where to start. There are a lot of books and courses on pentest focusing on networks, systems, and OS such as windows, yet I haven't been ...
10
votes
3answers
550 views

Is Gmail showing images by default a good idea for privacy?

Google have decided to show images in Gmail messages accessed via the web, iOS and Android by default: Instead of serving images directly from their original external host servers, Gmail will now ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Possible to prevent Juice Jacking by only connecting USB pins 1 & 4?

According to this accepted answer, there is no phone on the market today that is immune from "Juice Jacking"*. I think an easy way to mitigate this threat is to have a filter that blocks USB pins 2 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
648 views

Protect application from being modified

I have a question about how to protect a program from modification if that program is able to communicate with a remote validation server. More specifically I'm asking for android APK file, but it can ...
9
votes
8answers
5k views

Keyloggers on Smartphones?

I need to clarify my question. I'm wondering if there are any apps for smartphone that can log each 'keystroke' (i.e. key pressed on touchscreen) that a user does. Performing a google search brings up ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Caller ID Spoof and Text Spams – How do they work?

(Posted here after a comment/suggestion from: http://superuser.com/questions/254340/caller-id-spoof-and-text-spams-how-do-they-work. Apologies if deemed not appropraite) A lot of people will have at ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Suitable cipher for SMS encryption

I would like to create application for encrypting SMS messages. After long enough discussions I decided to use symmetric encryption, since handling public/private keys issue is too difficult for most ...
9
votes
1answer
622 views

List of methods in iOS that have been deprecated for security reasons?

Is anybody on the nets keeping track of iOS methods that have been deprecated by Apple for security reasons? I have searched around but with no luck. Going through all the deprecated methods and ...
8
votes
5answers
577 views

Can a mobile phone battery contain malware?

It has 3 terminals and is presumably a smart battery. I bought it on ebay recently for $2.74 USD and that included postage from China to Australia. It would normally retail for maybe $40 - $50. The ...
8
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...