Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Mobile Tech
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Report: NSA Can Now Spy On Smartphone Data
Report: NSA Can Now Spy On Smartphone Data

By Jennifer LeClaire
September 9, 2013 2:47PM

    Bookmark and Share
There are certainly cases where law enforcement can get access to information on smartphones as long as they have the physical devices. That's not necessarily new. It's hard to know if there's a reason to be concerned about claims that the NSA can spy on smartphone data from all the leading manufacturers.
 



Last week, The New York Times suggested the National Security Agency (NSA) could beat your encryption with a little help from supercomputers, court orders, arm twisting and technical prowess. Now, Spiegel Online International, a German news outlet, is suggesting the NSA can spy on smartphone data from all leading manufacturers, including Apple iPhones, Android devices and even hardened BlackBerry phones.

Spiegel claims it has seen top secret NSA documents that reveal it's possible for the agency to see even the most private data on your smartphone, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where you've been. NSA has also reportedly set up specific working spy groups for each operating system.

Not intending to cause widespread panic, the media outlet noted that: "The material viewed by Spiegel suggests that the spying on smartphones has not been a mass phenomenon. It has been targeted, in some cases in an individually tailored manner and without the knowledge of the smartphone companies."

Should We Be Concerned?

Tim Worstall, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, reiterated that this is not a mass surveillance scheme. In other words, he explained, this is not akin to the agency's habit of trying to read all the Internet traffic it can lay its hands on.

"Rather, this is much more like dedicated surveillance of named individuals," Worstall said. "It's that they are now capable of doing this across the various different operating systems in a manner akin to the sort of thing the FBI might do if it had a warrant to allow it."

We turned to Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, to get his thoughts on the latest NSA news. He told us part of the problem with "Snowden" revelations is that there aren't a lot of details. The Spiegel story is no different.

"There are certainly cases that we've known about for a while where law enforcement can get access to information on smartphones as long as they have the physical device," Hall said. "That's not necessarily new and the reporting wasn't clear as to whether or not this is a remote access capability. It's hard to know if there's a reason to be concerned."

What's New Here?

There are existing concerns with iPhone and Android devices. Hall explained that enabling a PIN, for example, encrypts the iPhone -- but it's easy enough to break through that encryption. In fact, Hall said law enforcement can crack a four-digit pin in about 13 minutes.

"We know there's a forensic waiting list at Apple where you can send in a device and when they get to it they will somehow bypass the pin setting and encryption. There are similar stories related to Android platforms. It's hard to know what new revelation is in this report," Hall said.

"If the NSA could gain remote access or if they could grab stuff off your iCloud that would be new. What would also be new is seeing in real time what you are doing on your device over the air," Hall said. "There is particularly sensitive information on phones and in the next year or so you will be able to download medical records to your phone."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Apple Smart Watch Patent Surfaces
2.   iPhone 6: Bad for Apple Tablet Sales?
3.   GoTenna: Work-Thru for Dead Zones
4.   Nokia X Phones Had Identity Crisis
5.   Microsoft Axes Android Phones


advertisement
Android SMS Worm on the Loose
Malware lets bad actors cash in.
Average Rating:
Review: Microsoft's Surface Pro 3
Is it a tablet and laptop replacement?
Average Rating:
iPhone 6: Bad for Apple Tablet Sales?
Most likely, it will be a huge hit.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
34 European Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
Criminals have been finding gaping holes in Android-based two-factor authentication systems that banks around the world are using. The result: 34 banks in four European countries have been hit.
 
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 
Juniper DDoS Solution Aims at High-IQ Networks
In the face of more complex attacks, Juniper Networks is boosting its DDoS Secure solution to help companies mitigate the threats with more effective security intelligence throughout the network fabric.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Contrary to Report, Lenovo's Staying in Small Windows Tablets
Device maker Lenovo has clarified a report that indicated it is getting out of the small Windows tablet business -- as in the ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. But the firm said it is not exiting that market.
 
Seagate Unveils Networked Drives for Small Businesses
Seagate is out with five new networked attached storage products aimed at small businesses. The drives are for companies with up to 50 workers, and range in capacity from two to 20 terabytes.
 
Another Day, Another Internet of Things Consortium Is Born
In the emerging Internet of Things, zillions of devices will be talking to each other. Samsung, Intel and Dell just formed a consortium to ensure each thing can understand what others are saying.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.