[ISN] Justice, DHS Quarantine Smartphones Returning from Abroad

http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2015/02/justice-dhs-quarantine-smartphones-returning-abroad/105576/ By Aliya Sternstein Nextgov.com February 18, 2015 Officials at the departments of Justice and Homeland Security typically expect employees’ smartphones will be bugged when they travel overseas. So, they are experimenting with various ways to neutralize foreign spy gear. For years, the FBI has warned government and corporate executives not to use hotel Wi-Fi connections, because of reports that foreign travelers were unknowingly downloading spyware. When DHS personnel travel, “we understand you go there, you go to Ukraine, you come back, there’s a good chance that the BlackBerry or any other device, Androids, iOS, whatever, is probably owned. We get that,” said Vincent Sritapan, a cybersecurity division program manager at the DHS Science and Technology Directorate. To contain the damage, Homeland Security limits what employees can see on their mobile device overseas, and “when it comes back, it’s usually quarantined,” he added. These are not precautions. There’s a good chance malicious software really is on the phone or tablet. […]