dfm covers

Data Leakage Issues in Smartphones

Written by DFM Team

Data Leakage Issues in Smartphones

The ever-increasing number of Smartphones and applications being utilized for processing all manner of information raises issues of information ownership. The mobile user utilizes many applications to create and use information, including the cloud. However, the potential for misuse, disclosure, re-use, and many other unplanned uses of the information is high. There are software and hardware backdoors in most of these mobile systems that make vulnerable any information. This includes the release of sensitive information, behavioural patterns, locations, identity information and general communications. Our research deconstructed the information system of a Smartphone to identify the multiple layers of services, the communications, and their security provisions. It uncovered the sources for data leakage, the ambiguity of ownership issues around the data processed and generated, and general misunderstandings regarding the ownership of information created by user permissions. The research principally examined the android application file system to determine the presence of vulnerabilities for sensitive information. Devices were tested to validate data leakage through various software backdoors and insecure ports utilized by the application for communication. Recipients of the harvested information were also identified and their business motives analysed. It was found most of the leaked information was going to marketing companies and their resellers. Our purpose was to raise awareness of the issues related to the ownership of data and alert users to potential unintended reuse of their information. Finally, countermeasures are suggested for Smartphone user protection.

Find out more - subscribe to DFM today and read the full article. Or if you're a subscriber, login and read the article online.

Please make cache directory writable.

Submit an Article

Call for Articles

We are keen to publish new articles from all aspects of digital forensics. Click to contact us with your completed article or article ideas.

Featured Book

Learning iOS Forensics

A practical hands-on guide to acquire and analyse iOS devices with the latest forensic techniques and tools.

Meet the Authors

Andrew Harbison

Andrew Harbison is a Director and IT Forensics Lead at Grant Thornton


Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Graph Database Technology

Attackers examine how your assets are connected, looking for a vulnerable part of the network, and navigating via methods such as “spear phishing.” What they’re really doing is abstracting out the graph of your networked systems, which is the set of security dependencies. Read More »

Fraudulent Use of Digital Images and Detection Survey

This article looks at the basic concepts related to image forgery; the types, detection procedure algorithms and all possible techniques to detect malicious signatures ibased on forgery types and detection techniques. Read More »

Subscribe today

Discovery in the Cloud: An Investigator’s Close Look at Unexpected Risks and Challenges

Documents residing in cloud storage accounts are increasingly coming into scope in digital forensic investigations such as IP theft, regulatory, corruption, merger clearance and civil matters.  Read More »

Every Issue
Plus the usual Competition, Book Reviews, 360, IRQ, Legal

Click here to read more about the future issues