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Voice Data Security - An overview of cellular (mobile) phone interception

Cover for Voice Data Security

Date:
By: Nigel Stanley

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If you stop and take a look at all the objects that sit within an arms
length of where you are sitting the chances are that a cell phone, in
all its guises, is one of the first that you see. The reality is that the cell
phone is the first piece of IT that we take with us wherever and whenever
we go. If we forget our cell phones we feel naked, isolated and more
than a little bit worried. Whilst few would take a fully-fledged PC to bed,
the cell phone has pride of place next to the bedside lamp.

From an information security perspective this poses an interesting
challenge.

Quite simply, if you can compromise a cell phone then you are more or
less assured that you can collect the most relevant, current and possibly
damaging data possible. The breadth and depth of current cell phone
technology is staggering, with new models, features and innovations
delivered weekly. Whilst few would doubt the huge appeal of interactive
applications, the challenge these devices give information security professionals
is overwhelming. After all, we now have presidents and prime
ministers touting these devices as part of their need to be in touch. No
doubt this appeals to a deep-seated and basic human need to be part of
something at all times.

Aside from the risk of losing emails and SMS messages, few have considered
that voice data is similarly at risk from being compromised. This
risk is now a reality and we need to be considering how we deal with it
sooner rather than later.

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