Thursday, February 2, 2012
7 News Features: Appsolute Danger
The apps on our phones make our lives easier and more fun, but is all that tapping making you an easy target? Tonight, 7's Craig Stevens tells you how to protect yourself from Appsolute Danger.
WSVN -- We play games, check our Facebook, Twitter, some of us even do our banking and taxes on smartphones.
But that convenience comes at a price.
Alix Iliadis, Hacking Expert: "Anything that's stored in your phone can be pulled out."
Hackers are stalking your smart phone, going on the attack to steal your information.
Charlie Miller, Hacking Expert: "They can access things like your address book, your photos, things you really don't want the world to know about."
And most of the time, you will have no idea you've been hit.
Dave Aitel, Hacking Expert: "There's quite a lot of personal information that either you are either giving up willingly or the hacker can force you to give up."
Dave Aitel is an expert on hacking, who once worked for the National Security Agency.
He says hackers know how to take advantage of your apps.
Dave Aitel, Hacking Expert: "Probably the most dangerous app you have on your phone is the web browser, but there's a lot of other apps you have -- Twitter, Facebook, all these things that send personal information and receive personal information -- a lot of that stuff is not going to be secured."
Master hacker Alix Iliadis shows how quickly it can happen.
Alix Iliadis, Hacking Expert: "Once I have the key, I could intercept all data in the network."
Using a computer program he designed, Alix hacks in.
Alix Iliadis, Hacking Expert: "At this point, I'm inside your network."
It takes less than five minutes.
Alix Iliadis, Hacking Expert: "I could even know what kind of traffic they have, like checking their web banking."
Once the hacker has that kind of access, he can literally steal your identity and gain access to your bank accounts and more.
And if you happen to work for a high profile company, your personal phone can also be used to gain access to your company.
Charlie Miller, Hacking Expert: "There, you have to be really careful and think twice about what you download, and be especially careful about the permissions that the apps ask for."
And be careful when you download free apps. They could be making money on your information.
What they do is sell your number and info. You can get spammed with unwanted texts or worse.
Still, our love affair with smart phones and apps isn't going away.
Experts say you can tap away, as long as you protect your phone.
Dave Aitel, Hacking Expert: "The largest amount of protection you can have is using encryption, like a VPN."
VPN is a virtual private network, a service you pay for which encrypts your information so hackers can't read it.
And before you download another app, really think about what you're giving the app permission to do during set up.
Charlie Miller, Hacking Expert: "If an application asks for permission you don't think it needs, that should just raise red flags, so PacMan doesn't need to send text messages, it doesn't need to know my GPS location, so I need to say no when it asks for that."
Taking that extra step could help keep you out of Appsolute Danger.
Charlie Miller, Hacking Expert: "The things we have now, like iPhones are computers, so treat them like you treat your computer, and don't forget: Just like bad guys can break into your computer, they can break into your phone. That's a computer."
Craig Stevens: "The guys tell us they spend every day looking for ways hackers can get into your phone, and hopefully a day will come when all of our convenient devices are safe."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Offensive Security Specialist