Commentary: Why Android Phones Are a Major Security RiskNews: Intel Hopes Mcafee Security Features Will Differentiate Mobile Chips
While curated app stores like the Apple and Microsoft stores actively look for malware, they don't aggressively check for bugs and wouldn't know where to look for a creative exploit. If I build an app that is never widely sold or used, the chance of the exploit being found is low. If I root the phone, too, I can likely destroy the forensic data that would let an investigator figure out how this happened.
This makes me wonder how many people on the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama campaign teams have phones that are broadcasting confidential information. How many police departments have been compromised? How many IT departments, bankers and private citizens don't know they are broadcasting?
This goes beyond putting a security software and a security policy in place. This is making sure a device can't be rooted-or, failing that, this is preventing it from even going into any insecure area.
As another McAFee Focus attendees pointed out, it's probably wise to avoid banking on your smartphone and talking about anything sensitive in range of your phone. If someone sends you a free phone, check and double-check the authenticity of the source before you use it. It's something to keep in mind as holiday shopping season starts.
Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Previously, he was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Prior to that he worked for IBM and held positions in Internal Audit, Competitive Analysis, Marketing, Finance and Security. Currently, Enderle writes on emerging technology, security and Linux for a variety of publications and appears on national news TV shows that include CNBC, FOX, Bloomberg and NPR.
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