28 May 2010 @ 6:28 PM 

First up let me say; I own an iPhone, I like the iPhone and will probably use one until a smart phone alternative appears that has the application eco-system developed to a level I am comfortable. I generally fall into the category of smart phone users who use their device as a phone and portable ultra-mini computer.

Now that said, I do have concerns about the security of the device and the way it is slowly creeping into the corporate arena. The the following link from www.h-online as an example; Vulnerability in iPhone data encryption.

I will let you read the page for yourself, but in brief bypassing iPhone encryption can be as easy as turning it on! Add this to the amount of personal information that can be stored in 8 GB or more, and I would really recommend changing every password you have if your phone gets stolen, lost or even out of your possession for a matter of minutes.

Coming soon: iPhone in-Security Part #2: adventures with iPhone data theft

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 28 May 2010 @ 06:28 PM

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 28 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 PM 
Opera Mini

Opera Mini's Dirty Little Security Secret

The recent release of Opera Mini for the iPhone has seen it shot straight to the top of the Free Apps charts. This in general is good. The Safari iPhone browser is a little lacking in feature and competition is always generally good in such a regimented environment.

Now here comes the but. One thing that isn’t widely known by the majority of the consumer market (I am excluding those with some technical knowledge here) is how Opera Mini works and the ramifications on visit any secure site such as online banking (which should be noted a few banks are now offering mobile device friendly websites and I am sure more to follow).

One of the big selling points is the speed that Opera Mini achieves. Unfortunately it achieves this via proxying all content, compressing it for mobile platform delivery and then passing it on. On the average website this isn’t such a huge problem, however on a secure site such as a banking website, this will expose your details to the servers that are acting as the proxy.

On the whole this itself may not even be a problem, I am certain that Opera have security around this infrastructure to prevent disclosure of information. However I think this does raise a few general questions:

  • How about full disclosure to your customer’s Opera? Yes, this information is available, but to the general punter downloading Apps via the App Store
  • I trust the people employed by services that offer secure connections such as banks. Granted this isn’t iron clad but on the whole any business (such as a bank) that relies on a secure connection for its business will makes efforts to ensure that security is maintained. Opera isn’t in this business and as such don’t really have a stake in protecting your information

Am I saying not to use Opera? No, it is a viable option as a web browser. All I want to point out here is that you need to be aware exactly what is happening to your information and the fact that Opera should be making this fact a little more accessible to the average user

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 28 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 PM

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 07 Apr 2010 @ 11:42 PM 

Made available recently but with so little public fan fare you need to wonder how it was missed. Google have launched their own app store!

If you run Google Apps (as opposed to the basic Gmail and associated services; however it is available on the Standard and Professional editions of the service) you will see a new option in the Services section of your control panel called Google Apps Marketplace. This service provides a range of different web based applications that can integrate with your Google Apps domain.

The range is fairly good and aimed mostly at the business market at this stage. Given the nature of the Google Apps service this is understandable. However the average user will find apps that will enhance their mail or calendar management. A notable inclusion is the Aviary online image editing tool which enables you to create and edit images stored in the Google Docs folders.

Good move Google, let’s see how this develops.

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 07 Apr 2010 @ 11:42 PM

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 02 Mar 2010 @ 10:58 PM 

Anyone who has owned an iPhone for some time (or really anytime at all for that matter) will realise there are good apps, bad apps, useful apps and useless apps. Sadly the Fart App has been with us for some time not to mention an array of other useless and trivial apps.

Ok, I kind of get it….people want to have fun with their phone and I will admit to downloading some less that useful apps on my iPhone for a laugh (and then generally deleting them shortly after).

However, it would seem that these days may be behind the iPhone user with the refusal of the Duck Phone App. This app will (or rather would have) given you the ability have your phone quack at you when a call comes in. In the grand scheme of it possibly not the most useless app. This app is a reference to the US reality TV show Jersey Shore which features an old fashion duck shaped phone. Have to admit to not having seen the show before not really being a fan of the genre, however here is a clip which I am sure will demonstrate:

My question to Apple is this. Having recently removed all the “Sexy Apps” (with some notable exceptions) and now the “fart app category” of apps, are you trying to create a market for the less regulated apps stores?

Personally this won’t have a great deal of impact on me. I can get through the day without a duck phone and bikini girls on my phone. But the question of where the line will end up does raise itself a little. Who actually owns the individual iPhone? The person who is footing the bill or Apple? I would think that perhaps a little more freedom of choice would not be out of order from the company that took on “big brother” not that long ago:

Or perhaps, this version is a little more applicable today:

Posted By: Chief Tech
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2010 @ 03:04 PM

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