Like every mobile enthusiast, I regularly keep a track of the latest news and events in the mobile security space. July has been a particularly eventful month in this space. Here is a roundup of the top five headlines from July.
Qualcomm Processors Compromise Android Phone Encryption
Early this month, a researcher discovered a vulnerability in Android devices running on certain Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Several sources reported that the manner in which Android devices perform encryption could give OEM’s and law enforcement the ability to break full disk encryption and gain access to information on these devices.
Remote Code Execution in Xiaomi MIUI
IBM’s X-Force Application Security research team discovered a RCE venerability in MIUI earlier this year. The team reported the discovery to Xiaomi privately. Xiaomi swiftly fixed the issue and released an updated firmware for its users. This is noteworthy because the threat was identified and prevented before it caused a major breach.
‘Pokemon Go’ Compromises Personal Data
The world was introduced to “Pokemon Go” on July 6. Although the game was released only in certain regions, it quickly became a global phenomenon. But, to quote a line from Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Unfortunately, in the case of the game developers, their responsibility ends with providing players an excellent experience and an engaging game. As the number of active users on “Pokemon Go” grew, the regions that were not part of the initial release resorted to any means necessary to get their hands on it.
They did this by downloading the APK for the game from unauthorized marketplaces in a process called sideloading. This exposes users to malicious attacks that can breach or infect their devices. The game’s creator, Niantic Labs, also required full access to a user’s Google account if they logged in to the game from an iOS device.
Fitness Bands Struggle With Mobile Security
Fitness bands and smartwatches are some of the hottest gadgets in today’s tech market. Gone are the days when a watch simply told time. The security risk increases as these devices collect more and more data to support their many features. In July, researchers found that cybercriminals can decode the smartwatch users’ ATM PINs by tracking their movement.
IBM MaaS360 Achieves ISO 27001 Certification
IBM MaaS360 achieved certification for compliance with ISO 27001 standards earlier this month. This is big news since most developers of cloud-based solutions aspire to obtain necessary ISO certification along with meeting information security management system (ISMS) standards. This is a key moment for IBM to establish its leadership position in the enterprise mobility and cloud security space.