Mobile Networks Threatened - DEFCON Hackers Could Help Author: Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com
If you are worth your weight in code, you know that the “hot spot” this month was the annual DEFCON event held in Las Vegas. In my mind, this is the annual event where hackers and federal agents co-exist in a who’s who environment that celebrates the hacker world. If you are an up-and-coming hacker, this is always a good place to make sure the U.S. government is able to put a face with your profile. For other industry experts, this event provides the opportunity to revisit the new and existing vulnerabilities that plague in the commercial setting.
Ever focused on mobile security, my takeaway from this years event was not the “not so smart card hacks” but rather the underlying implications that were subtly unveiled that could wreak havoc on the network security level of the wireless industry. With the demands for mobile data services growing at an impressive rate in all wireless markets, network level mobile security is becoming a true concern.
For those cell phone users that have already found that their handset is the next frontier of the Internet, the realization of network level security plays a paramount role. Globally, we are losing the battle for handset level security as new handsets without a mobile security solution far outpace those that are protected. For global wireless users, this suggests that the only line of security in place is at the network level. As the MBTA debacle at DEFCON points out, there are significant vulnerabilities at hand with regard to cyber security.
In wireless infrastructure these security implications touch every handset as all mobile data relies on the commercially deployed mobile networks. The security of ones handset realistically has become directly influenced by the levels of network security investment by the service provider. Having seen some of the talent roaming the event at the Riviera Hotel and Casino last week, my thought is that the network level is in trouble if the focus gets shifted from the current trend of handset specific malware. Let us hope that those in charge at the wireless service providers have half of the security insight that recently graced Las Vegas.
As the annual DEFCON event provides a basis for revisiting corporate security vulnerabilities, it seems that the wireless industry is due for some preventative medicine too. Just some food for thought… Imagine what security insight could be gained by the service providers if they would sponsor the DEFCON.
Your friend in mobile security,
Eric Everson, Founder MyMobiSafe.com