Archives for November 2013

Caution: iPhones could be hacked at public charging stations

Apple devices are, on the whole, fairly secure. But Georgia Tech scientists just released new research demonstrating a way in which iPhones are currently vulnerable while charging.

Scientists at Georgia Tech’s Security Information Center successfully proved that it’s possible to introduce a malicious app to a charging device, through the USB cable (which, at a public location, might be secretly hooked up to a hidden computer). Their fake app looked like Facebook, but was really a Trojan horse, allowing the scientist-hackers complete access to the phone, and the ability to see everything the user could see, including passwords. They could eavesdrop on calls—and even place them.

An easy fix: the app was only able to install itself once the user—while still connected to the charger—entered the passcode and unlocked the phone. Therefore, you should not unlock your phone while it’s plugged into a public or unknown charger. If you need to use it, unplug it from the charger before unlocking it, and lock it before you plug it back in to continue charging.

Read the whole USA Today article here.

Reporting a Lost or Stolen Device

Reporting a Lost or Stolen Device

As computing devices become increasingly numerous and increasingly portable, they become much easier to lose — or to have stolen. Recently, phones and computers have gone missing even from within SoM offices and labs. Any employee who’s lost a device that is being used for Stanford business, whether personally-owned or University-owned, is responsible for following all school procedures related to the possible disclosure of information. This includes reporting the situation immediately to the Stanford University Privacy Office.

Now on the Data Security Program’s website is a streamlined checklist for reporting a missing phone, laptop, or other computing device. Click here for details.