DeepSec 2011 Focus: Mobile Computing and Communications

René Pfeiffer/ May 2, 2011/ Conference

Our Call for Papers announcement mentioned seven topics that we are focussing on. We’d like to explain what these topics are all about in a couple of blog postings since it is not easy to squeeze everything into a few lines. We begin with mobile computing and communication.

Mobile computing incorporates mobile computing devices such as smart phones, tablets, cell phones, laptops, netbooks, wrist watches, navigation devices and similar computers. Most of us are now accustomed to frequently use portable computing. We want to know what bugs and security risks we carry around. A lot of users regard these mobile computers as appliance, therefore the thought of upgrading or fixing software on them is less widespread. You don’t do firmware upgrades on your microwave oven or water boiler, do you? Maybe you should.

Mobile communications catches the network protocols attached to your mobile computers. It starts with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 1G and reaches to 2G, 2.5G, 2.75G, 3G, 3.5G, 3.7G, 3.9G, 4G and beyond. Take a look at the protocols involved (yes, all layers, please), test the implementations and tell us about the bugs and security risks involved. A lot of users rely on both mobile devices and communication, and this trend will most certainly not stop or be reversed.

We have already covered aspects of this focus in the past DeepSec conference (come to think of it in all of them). Given the product development cycles and the push of the mobile operators along with the manufacturers there’s a lot potential for things going wrong. Let us know how wrong things can get and try maybe try to break things a little bit. Designers and engineers often need a little help. ☻

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About René Pfeiffer

System administrator, lecturer, hacker, security consultant, technical writer and DeepSec organisation team member. Has done some particle physics, too. Prefers encrypted messages for the sake of admiring the mathematical algorithms at work.