[GLLUG] Smart Phone Security

Kami Vaniea kami.vaniea at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 16:09:22 EDT 2014

The answer really depends on what you mean by "safely." You can only
really loose the data you have on the phone to the applications you have
on the phone. So if you don't ever put really important data like
banking information on the phone, then it can't be stolen. Similarly, if
you don't install many applications then you are also less likely to
have information taken.

For most popular applications the real danger is more privacy related
than security related. Apple has no interest in sneakily obtaining your
bank credentials (illegal?), but they have a large interest in obtaining
your location and address book. These can be used to better market to
you, and help the company learn about their customers. Plus they give
you the option (buried deep) to turn off the "feature" so everything is
above board legally. It is really a personal decision if you consider a
cell phone helpfully backing up all your contacts into the Apple cloud
to be bad or good.

As for the car one. The attack describe takes some effort and risk on
the part of the thief and is only worth it for a large return. A small
time thief would be better served by stealing the GPS and selling it
than trying to find your house and break in. Given the risk/reward
incentives you should really only worry if you have a make/model/year of
car that indicates you have enough money to be worth the risk.

Just my two cents,
- Kami

On 4/4/2014 2:19 PM, Chick Tower wrote:
> I don't own a smart phone.  I don't want a smart phone.  I read
> frequently about how they are easily exploited and often just give away
> your information.  At last night's meeting, I asked how smart,
> security-conscious Linux users can trust their phones, and the answer I
> received was a universal "I don't trust my smart phone."  Does anyone
> else know of any ways to safely use a smart phone (your own, not a
> borrowed one)?
> I was also told of a method thieves are reportedly using to find houses
> to burglarize.  They break into a car at some event that will last a
> while (I think the Silverdome was mentioned), use the car's GPS to find
> home, and go there, knowing at least some of the occupants are gone.  So
> maybe programming "home" to be somewhere else nearby is a good idea, if
> you don't want to drive a car without a GPS like I do.

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