[ISN] Keeping data safe on a billion and a half cellphones

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 04:15:44 -0600 (CST)

By David Shamah
The Times of Israel
December 20, 2012

An Israeli company is responsible for nearly three quarters of the 
wireless software updates for cell phones around the world. Red Bend, 
which has developed a secure firmware over-the-air (FOTA) system, allows 
users to get automatic operating system and firmware updates on their 
cellphones. It’s used by more than 80 mobile operators and device 
manufacturers to manage updates on more than 1.6 billion mobile phones.

This week Red Bend is on a new phone — LG Electronics’ new Optimus G 
smartphone, which will use Red Bend’s vRapid Mobile FOTA updating 
software and vDirect Mobile device management software. It’s the latest 
of more than 100 LG mobile phone models that are Red Bend-enabled, said 
the company.

One of the reasons the world has migrated to smartphones — those 
all-in-one devices for talking, texting, surfing, game playing, and who 
knows what else — is their convenience, and the fact that users can be 
connected anywhere, anytime, without the need for tethering. All 
communications are done over the air, but over-the-air connections are 
notoriously insecure — insecure enough that companies fear that hackers, 
or industrial spies, could “poison” phone firmware with rogue files, 
causing usage failures and data theft.

It was a problem Red Bend predicted back at the inception of the 
cellular age more than a decade ago, said Roger Ordman, Red Bend’s 
director of product marketing. “As people integrate devices more into 
their daily lives they become more dependent on them, and we are all 
increasingly concerned about the insecurity of our sensitive data on 
less than secure public networks,” Ordman said.


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Received on Thu Dec 20 2012 - 02:15:44 PST

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