General Is your Incredible Watching You?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by INTREPID-NY, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. INTREPID-NY

    INTREPID-NY Well-Known Member
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    May 5, 2010
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    Is your smart phone watching you?
    JORDAN ROBERTSON,AP Technology Writer

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Your smart phone applications are watching you — much more closely than you might like.

    Lookout Inc., a mobile-phone security firm, scanned nearly 300,000 free applications for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and phones built around Google Inc.'s Android software. It found that many of them secretly pull sensitive data off users' phones and ship them off to third parties without notification.

    That's a major concern that has been bubbling up in privacy and security circles.

    The data can include full details about users' contacts, their pictures, text messages and Internet and search histories. The third parties can include advertisers and companies that analyze data on users.

    The information is used by companies to target ads and learn more about their users. The danger, though, is that the data become vulnerable to hacking and use in identity theft if the third party isn't careful about securing the information.

    Lookout reported its findings this week in conjunction with the Black Hat computer security conference in Las Vegas.

    Lookout found that nearly a quarter of the iPhone apps and almost half the Android apps contained software code that contained those capabilities.

    The code had been written by the third parties and inserted into the applications by the developers, usually for a specific purpose, such as allowing the applications to run ads. But the code winds up forcing the application to collect more data on users than even the developers may realize, Lookout executives said.

    "We found that not only users, but developers as well, don't know what's happening in their apps, even in their own apps, which is fascinating," said John Hering, CEO of the San Francisco-based Lookout.

    Part of the problem is smart phones don't alert users to all the different types of data the applications running on them are collecting. IPhones only alert users when applications want to use their locations.
    And while Android phones offer robust warnings when applications are first installed, many people breeze through them for the gratification of using the apps quickly.

    Apple and Google didn't respond to requests for comment on Lookout's research.


    Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
    Source: SkunkPost.com || Is your smart phone watching you?
     

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    BigSlick and INCREDIBLE-HULK like this.
  2. birthofahero

    birthofahero Well-Known Member
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    Well at least with Android we are getting a very detailed outline to what the apps want to access.
     
  3. wayrad

    wayrad Well-Known Member
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    Occasionally the info is hard to understand though. It was suggested somewhere a while ago that developers should be allowed to annotate the permissions request list to briefly explain why an app needed those permissions, which seems like it would help some. The only problem is that different end users need different amounts of explanation...;)
     
  4. jamor

    jamor Well-Known Member
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    Planet Earth
    So that explains why my credit score is 347.
     
  5. jamor

    jamor Well-Known Member
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    Planet Earth

    I think this is a total over reaction.

    How is this any different from using a computer, the internet, and buying things online?

    You give your CC to merchants, your Google searches are saved forever, etc..

    If this is a problem for someone, then you need to get rid of your computer too.
     
  6. sillyrabbitt123

    sillyrabbitt123 Well-Known Member
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    B I G B R O

    Bottomline
     
  7. vweaver

    vweaver Member
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    This is one of the pitfalls for cutting edge technology of today. The spammers/hackers hit the new technology as soon as it hits the market. Unless manufacturers specifically design products against spam, hackers, etc- the spammers will be ahead of security initially. Manufacturers for the most part, overlook most potential security flaws, because increasing security is not only time and cost consuming, but hampers the creative ability of hardware and software due to constraints placed by security. They know that 3rd party software will fix many issues that may arise (with anti-virus, firewall, etc), and any major issues not addressable by 3rd party means can be addressed later in updates.

    I don't blame the manufacturers, per se- I would probably do the same thing from a profitability standpoint. Until the market demands tougher security measures- we won't be getting any safer with our mobile data.

    This is #1 reason I will not be putting any bank/financial apps on my phone anytime soon. We don't even know all the security issues, much less have them plugged. Even logging into your bank account with your mobile device could be risky. What information is saved/accessible by your phone memory or even a background app? Your personal computer is Ft. Knox compared to an Android or Apple phone right now. Just keep this in mind when you get anymore personal than your name when it comes to mobile devices and apps. It may sound paranoid, but do you want to be 'that guy"?
     
  8. Mahalo

    Mahalo Well-Known Member
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    Tampa, Florida
    Another reason to root and go Ad Free!
     
  9. yojoe600

    yojoe600 Well-Known Member
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    doesnt everyone already know this... seems like every few months some site come out with a new article on this
     
  10. BigSlick

    BigSlick Active Member
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    I actually do look at the list to see what apps want to access and it is hard to understand why certain things "need" to be avaiable to the app. They really should put, in a word or two, the reason for these individual permissions.
     
  11. SynisterWolf

    SynisterWolf Well-Known Member
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    Materials Specialist
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