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

http://www.timesofisrael.com/keeping-data-safe-on-a-billion-and-a-half-cellphones/ 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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