Our growing security quagmire
Source: Network World - Posted by Alex   
Latest News Information security was always an esoteric field but with personal computing came personal security issues, culminating in the identity theft problem that concerns even the most techno-phobic of consumers. It's about to get much worse. The latest interesting areas for security come from the proliferation of connected computing devices into new areas of our life: mobile devices (for example iPhone, Droid, iPad), building automation (smart-grid) and automotive computing. Up to now, we've worried about computers messing with our money. Now we can add to that the worry of computers tracking our location, killing our power and crashing our cars. As a security professional I am simultaneously appalled and hopeful for my job security.

The iPad and iPhone devices have really got people excited about handheld computing. But few people stop to think about the security implications. No other device is as intimately connected to a user as a smartphone. I often forget my wallet and my keys, but I rarely go anywhere without my smartphone. That makes my phone a fantastic tool for location based personal services, but also for ubiquitous and extremely intrusive surveillance.

The specs of the latest smartphones add up to a serious security problem: GPS, cellular data and location, magnetic compass, accelerometer, microphone and video camera. If you compromise a device that never leaves the side of the owner and contains those features, you have the most sophisticated surveillance system ever devised. It's far worse than compromising a PC or reading someone's e-mail. You could literally bug every conversation while knowing exactly where the user is and even if they are walking or lying down!

Read this full article at Network World

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