Can I trust my mobile?

Jan 17, 2014

Edward Snowden’s revelations generated a storm across the Internet and social media sites. Individuals discovered that all communication could be intercepted for many reasons by security agencies like NSA, but also by private companies for industrial espionage.

The mobile industry has already answered the problem with different approaches and solutions.

The first approach is to protect the operating system from potential virus or malware attacks. This is the simplest approach and traditional security software vendors have already deployed solutions.

The second level of protection is the use of cryptography to encipher the communication and the exchange of data by using appropriated algorithms based on the best ratio between the times needed to encipher/decipher data versus the sensitiveness of the data to be protected. This is, more or less, what companies such as Phonecrypt, Cryptech or GoldLock are doing with software solutions.

Complete mobile phone solutions also exist, such as Sectra’s Tiger mobile offering or the planned product from Geeksphone: the Blackphone, which integrates cryptography mechanisms.

But are these solutions secure enough to guarantee complete privacy? Probably not, and this is why new players are entering a niche market with mobile phones that are entirely secured. But what does’ entirely secured’ mean? It means that the operating system is robust and protected from all known attacks and that communications are enciphered using a high level of security. But above all, it means that the entire mobile phone (software and hardware) has been designed to be protected against physical or logical attacks.

The French company Bull will launch the Hoox solution this month for a price of €2000. The mobile was completely redesigned by the company in order to be protected from all possible attacks. The mobile device integrates a biometric reader confirming the need for this technology into the mobile ecosystem.

The number of potential users for such solutions is limited due to the price constraint. But these trends will surely impact our day to day lives in the near future, with initiatives such as the Blackphone that we will discover during the Mobile World Congress.

Category : Mobile & Wireless

Jean-Noel Georges


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