Mobile Security Risks

Understanding real world threats to mobile security and privacy

Cell phones are no longer used for phone calls. Smartphones now offer users the capability to send text messages, access the internet, play games, take pictures and take videos, all with the same device. Some users no longer own a regular camera because they can simply take any pictures with their smartphones. Although these features offer many conveniences, users should understand the risks associated witht this technology.

Types of Threats

Since smartphone owners often use their phones to access sites like online banking or shopping, smartphones may store information like bank account and credit or debit cart numbers.

Hackers can also record phone calls, access text and instant messages, and use GPS data to track a user’s past or current location.

Cyber criminals can use many different types of malware, or malicious software, to access this data without detection. The most common attack types take place through app spoofing, Bluetooth attacks, and phishing scams.

Attack Methods

Hardware Attack

Third party attackers utilize off-the-shelf hardware equipment to attack vulnerabilities in smartphone hardware, such as its baseband processor.

Examples

Software Attack

Third party attackers develop sophisticated software, often disguised as legitimate apps, that are designed to gain unauthorized access to your data.

Examples

Network Attack

Third party attackers exploit vulnerabilities in network infrastructure to confuse your device or intercept data being transmitted through the network.

Examples

Protecting Against Intrusions

Software security solutions can be manipulated or spoofed. Users may believe they are downloading legitimate virus scanners or security applications, but run the risk of downloading a fake application instead. Utilizing a hardware solution to protect sensitive data offers protection that cannot be compromised remotely like it's software counterpart, while still allowing smartphone owners to use their favorite apps.

The QS1 Quantum Security Case

The QS1 Quantum Security Case offers numerous security features to nullify attacks on a smartphone. In addition to protecting your phone calls, the QS1 offers physical security measures to prevent the phone's built-in microphones and cameras being accessed by unauthorized parties.

Patented Microphone Jammer

When used in Lockdown mode, the QS1's innovative, patented microphone jammer disables the phone's internal microphones, preventing external sounds from being recorded by hackers who may have gained access to the phone's operating system. The jammer operates by causing the smartphone's audio to clip continuously, meaning the diaphragm of the microphone—the moving element that responds to the pressure wave of an audio signal—is physically prevented from moving. This means the microphone cannot respond to or record audio. Independent testing by top speech extraction experts from two leading U.S. universities were unable to decipher any speech when the microphone jammer was in use.

Vysk Camera Shutters

The QS1 also protects against unauthorized use of the smartphone's built-in camera. When operating in Lockdown mode, the camera shutter physically slides closed, blocking the smartphone's camera when not in use, preventing hackers from being able to view external images that might have been captured using the phone without the owner's knowledge or consent. Even if an application requests permission to access the camera, the camera shutter will prevent any still images or video from being captured because the camera is physically blocked by the shutter.

Hackers may be able to spoof or manipulate software solutions remotely, but they are not able to access the smartphone when it is physically protected by its case. The QS1 protects against attacks aimed at both the phone's cameras and microphones, while also protecting the integrity of phone calls, and text messages. Additionally, the QS1 also houses an external battery that offers an additional battery life, enabling users to operate their phone longer.

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