So far this year, the surreptitious capture of audio and visual data via smartphone cameras and microphones has negatively impacted the world’s richest person and a beloved trillion-dollar company. It’s safe to say that awareness of this issue has reached the mainstream, increasingly forcing individuals, enterprises and product makers to change how they operate. To see how the trajectory of smartphone surveillance has changed even in the last several months, I think it would be helpful to look back at my 2019 predictions as a starting point.
In August, we conducted our annual survey designed to gauge attitudes about mobile security and privacy. In looking behind this year’s numbers, I was struck by how shifting perspectives seem to mirror the goings-on in the world of Apple. As a trillion-dollar company and the maker of the ever-popular iPhone, Apple has a metaphorical magnifying glass on everything it does, good or bad.
Organizations concerned about sensor abuse are now adopting the Privoro SafeCase™, a first-of-its-kind mobile security solution companion for smartphones that not only provides its own set of trusted sensors but also protects against illicit audio/video capture by hijacked cameras and microphones.
Preparing for a business trip – international or domestic – used to be a fairly routine ritual. Not anymore. Carrying those electronic essentials poses new threats to personal and enterprise security that savvy travelers must be aware of.
You can now add Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) to the growing list of government officials and entities urging national security advisors to provide a higher level of security for government smartphones.
Recent news reports, covering two separate incidents, confirm a conclusion we continue to draw attention to when talking with security professionals, our customers and anyone concerned about their mobile security posture: Smartphones are inherently vulnerable, and little – to date – can be done to protect, detect, and remediate the compromises. Without full view into the ecosystem of the phone, software solutions alone will never be enough to safeguard the important information of users and protect their privacy.
The topic of smartphone hacking isn’t likely to make it into Monday morning watercooler conversation. That is of course, unless you are a security professional and the very survival of your organization may hang on understanding it and protecting against it.