Tag: wearable technology security

Wearable technology hack prevention taken on by Wichita State profs

The professors have already received $380,000 in funding to help them to accomplish their research.

Two professors from Wichita State University have now received $380,000 in funding in order to discover whether wearable technology is as safe as it needs to be for mainstream consumer use.

The idea is to determine if this latest mobile tech craze is revealing more about people than they know.

The use of wearable technology – such as smartwatches, wristbands, fitness trackers, smartglasses, and others – is starting to grow. It remains somewhat of a niche market, but it is definitely growing to the point that it has the potential to be the next multimillion dollar tech craze. That said, as has been the case with every other form of connected computing, there is a chance that cyber attacks could occur with these devices, and that they could end up revealing far more about the wearers than they realize.

Therefore, the two profs are now aiming to keep wearable technology ahead of wrong-doing hackers.

 Wearable Technology ResearchAccording to Murtuza Jadliwala, he and his team are “actually investigating the cyber security and privacy issues linked to wearable devices.” The funding for this project came in the form of a grant from the National Science Foundation. In this project, Jadliwala – who is a computer scientist and electrical engineer – and Jibo He, a psychologist and computer scientist, will work together with their team in order to find out if smartphone, smartwatch, and fitness tracker sensors are revealing too much information about their users.

Jadliwala stated that “What we are trying to study is, data available from these devices, what kind of additional private information can be inferred from this data?” These professors aren’t trying to look at whether or not hackers will be able to break into a device to steal personal information. Instead, what they are trying to determine is how accessible the sensors on wearables are to others, when they are meant to be tracking the wearer’s health information, location, and even the keystrokes entered when typing a search, login, or password.

They also want to see if the motion sensors inside wearable technology can reveal what is being typed into a smartphone. According to He, this is “So we’ll know who you dialed to or we’ll know what’s your password of your email or how to unlock your smart phone.”

Mobile security of wearable tech data called into question

A new report by ABI Research has revealed that wearables are rapidly increasingly in popularity.

The wearable technology market is moving quite quickly throughout 2014, but despite its popularity, the use of these devices could be placing consumers at an ever rising risk of a mobile security breach.

An ABI Research report claims that there will be 485 million shipments of wearables by 2018.

Among the most popular devices in the wearables category includes those that allow for the tracking of health and fitness data. They also often allow this data to be shared with friends, coworkers, or between doctors and patients. However, each new activity that is logged may also be opening up the user to a new mobile security breach risk.

This mobile security speculation by many in the wearables industry has been underscored by Symantec research results.

Mobile Security - Wearable TechOn June 7, 2014, that company’s Security Response team looked at the most popular mobile apps at the Apple App Store and examined the most popular iOS compatible offerings within the free “health & fitness” category. It then tested the 100 most popular options within that category. Among them, there were 57 that were also available in the Google Play store so that Android device users would be able to them. Those 57 were also researched on the Android side, by the Symantec team.

What the Security Response team found was that 20 percent of the apps that they examined required a user to use non encrypted (clear) text which exposed their login credentials. This means that in the case of the users of those popular free applications, it could be possible for the device or the app to be compromised.

Furthermore, depending on when and where the wearable device is synced, it could mean that those login credentials will be shared with just about anyone who is paying attention. The typical wearable technology does not connect directly to the internet. Instead, it uses Bluetooth synchronization to an internet enabled smartphone, tablet, or desktop. This process may be making it much easier for cybercriminals to breach mobile security and scoop up personal data from the device user, without ever making him or her aware that it had occurred.