The Dark Side of Phone Apps

June 4, 2010 -

The Wall Street Journal looks into the "dark side of phone apps" in a new report about the lack of app vetting in Google's Android and Apple's iPhone app stores. While they don't cite too many examples, save some questionable banking apps that Apple banned, the paper solicits the opinions of nameless FBI and security professionals who are "concerned" about malicious software making its way into these stores and in turn on consumers' phones.

As more companies, government agencies and regular consumers use wireless devices to engage in commerce and share private information, the "bad guys" are finding new and creative ways to steal from them and profit from it.

The paper, speaking to "someone familiar with the matter," reports that the FBI's Cyber Division has begun working on these kinds of cases - specifically apps designed to compromise banking on cellphones, as well as mobile "malware" used for "espionage by foreign nations." The FBI has a standing policy that bars its employees from downloading apps on FBI-issued smartphones. The Air Force has a similar policy.

While there is some oversight for most app stores - Google's Android app store has no formal review process. The company has said in the past that it relies on its customers to report malware or other questionable apps first. While some security experts believe Google's Android Market is particularly vulnerable, Google says that it has "put in place security measures, such as remotely disabling apps found to be malicious and requiring developers to register with its Checkout payment service, and argued there's no evidence for claims that its store poses a greater risk than others."

Apple, on the other hand, vets all of its applications before they appear in its App Store, but security on that front can use some improvement too, according to some experts. The most publicized incident happened in July 2008, when Apple pulled the game called Aurora Feint from its store after it was found to be uploading users' contact lists to the game maker's servers. Apple claims that it " takes security very seriously," and that it has "a very thorough approval process and review every app." The company also claims to check the identities of every developer.

Still the iPhone isn't a perfect and safe platform - we'll leave you this scary quote from the WSJ story to think about:

Since 2008, security experts have identified at least 36 security holes in the phone's software, according to a review of the National Vulnerability Database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. One, identified in September 2009, could have allowed hackers to learn someone's username and password from messages sent to servers when browsing the Web.

Source: WSJ

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WonderkarpAndrew Yoon Died http://www.gamerevolution.com/news/rip-andrew-yoon-3096901/31/2015 - 10:26pm
Matthew Wilson@ea so much happened this week its not funny. fcc broadband, Nintendo, sega, and sevral other big stories. was not a slow week lol01/31/2015 - 8:50pm
Andrew EisenWasn't on the list but we can certainly talk about it.01/31/2015 - 8:45pm
Matthew WilsonI know its not directly related to games, but are you going to tak about the fcc raising the definition of broadband to 25/3?01/31/2015 - 8:33pm
Wonderkarpwell we had to christen it some way01/31/2015 - 7:13pm
Andrew EisenThank goodness the Shout box now goes back 100 shouts, eh folks?01/31/2015 - 7:10pm
Wonderkarpyouve said youre stuff. I gave you a point on one thing.01/31/2015 - 7:04pm
Andrew EisenNo, they're facts. Not beliefs. Not opinions. Facts. Do I need to list them all for you again? I'm happy to oblige.01/31/2015 - 7:02pm
Andrew EisenAnd I have seen no evidence (and would find it very hard to believe) that her fans and funders, even the most radical, would be the ones perpetuating that nonsense.01/31/2015 - 7:01pm
Wonderkarpabout as right as Glenn Beck is about the gays, man. Its all your beliefs and opinions.01/31/2015 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenI didn't say you did. And this talking head is still right about everything he's said so far.01/31/2015 - 6:58pm
Andrew EisenAlso, considering the number of non profits that merchandise, I'm going to guess you're wrong on that one too but I don't really know as it's not my area of expertise.01/31/2015 - 6:58pm
WonderkarpYou can keep saying that all you want. Its just a talking head, man. there's all the proof in the pudding. I never said she was trying to take away games, or get rid of male protagonists, or any of the BS thats perpetraited by her more radicalfans/funders01/31/2015 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenNo, as I've spelled out throughout this discussion, you're wrong.01/31/2015 - 6:53pm
Wonderkarpok. that one I am wrong. I'll give you that one. That was one I didnt research properly. BUT I'm right on the others.01/31/2015 - 6:53pm
Andrew EisenFact: It makes no difference whether she recorded the footage or not. Fact: yes she does have a Section 107 'fair use' disclaimer at the end of every video and in the video description.01/31/2015 - 6:47pm
Wonderkarpsaying otherwise. I've presented a video with cited sources combined with opinion. Youre presenting just your opinion. 01/31/2015 - 6:43pm
Wonderkarpits still important information brought up on the original video. and by not saying anything, the casual observer thinks its her footage. there's no "section 107 Fair use" disclaimer. Its as if she's showing star wars and saying "look what I made" without01/31/2015 - 6:43pm
Andrew EisenIf that's true, maybe she's willing to lose her tax exempt status by merchandising. So? Also not a problem with her Kickstarter. And no, I don't have to be a rep of FemFreq to point out how nonsensical, irrelevant and untrue all this nonsense is.01/31/2015 - 6:43pm
Andrew EisenShe doesn't say it's not her footage and she never said she'd record all her own footage. So this isn't a problem. I doubt she's said anything like "no women or non white people are critics of mine." Regardless, nothing to do with her Kickstarter.01/31/2015 - 6:41pm
 

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