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Mobiles to play key role in national cyber defence

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April 4, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via PC Pro

Mobile phones are the weak link in the UK’s cyber security set-up, according to university officials setting up a transatlantic security course.

The University of Wales recently announced a tie-up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to work on developing cyber security strategies following the elevation of cyber attacks to top spot on the national threat level.

Although the students will look at all aspects of the electronic infrastructure, mobile phones will initially take centre stage – both in the way they could be used during a cyber crisis and in the weaknesses they pose to the overall strategy.

“Mobile phones, compared to desktops and laptops, have a much lower level of firewall and virus security on them and the logical concern is that it will be through mobile devices that major cyber security attacks will come,” said Richie Turner, head of external relations at the University of Wales in an interview with PC Pro.

“They are a potential weakness in our cyber security systems and we need to recognise that.”

According to Turner, the location services on smartphones could also offer cyber and real-world terrorists another attack vector to gather information about the UK.

“A second important aspect is that everything on the net is geotagged and we need to raise awareness of the influence that geotagging has,” he said. “If you post things on Facebook, those pictures can be geotagged to a very specific location.”

More here.