Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia (PressExposure) April 25, 2011 -- The recent mobile phone hacking scandal has turned the spotlight on mobile security.It is estimated that nearly 7,000 mobile phones, including those of actress Sienna Miller and former culture secretary Tessa Jowell, were hacked by a British tabloid, a lawyer has claimed. The newspaper has since apologized.
Last week, News International, which publishes the News of the World, apologized for voicemail messages left on mobile phones being hacked on behalf of the News of the World. After admitting liability, News International offered to pay compensation to eight public figures, including actress Sienna Miller and Tessa Jowell, the former Labour minister.
Charlotte Harris, who is representing several of the celebrities involved, said 7,000 people may have had their mobile phone voicemail messages intercepted by The News of the World. It is reported that the hacking took place between 2004 and 2006.
News International said it had approached another nine people who claimed to be victims of phone hacking, asking them for more evidence. One person familiar with the situation said the nine included Steve Coogan, the comedian, Leslie Ash, the actress, and Paul Gascoigne, the former footballer, ex-member of parliament George Galloway, and actor Jude Law's personal assistant Ben Jackson.
The person added that if the additional evidence was provided to News International, it could result in the company admitting liability and offering to pay compensation to them. More people have claimed they are victims in the phone hacking affair have initiated civil cases against News International, which is expected to pay millions of pounds in compensation. The media conglomerate, owned by Rupert Murdoch, said in a statement that it would set up a fund to compensate those affected.
"That said, past behaviour at the News of the World in relation to voicemail interception is a matter of genuine regret. It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence and we acknowledge our actions then were not sufficiently robust.
In a 2007 court case, Clive Goodman, the royal correspondent to the News of the World was jailed after he admitted hacking into the messages of model Elle MacPherson as well as members of the royal household
In January Andy Coulson, prime minister David Cameron's spokesman, stepped down amid speculation he had known about the hacking, despite denying that he was involved. Coulson was the editor of the News of the World newspaper in 2007 when Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were sentenced to prison for hacking into voice mails of members of the royal family's staff.
The security and privacy of smart phones may not be very secure as the last couple of years smartphones have been under increasing attack. "The smartphone OS will become a major security target," said Android Security Leader Rich Cannings. Attackers can already hit millions of victims with a smartphone attack, and soon that number will be even larger. "Personally I think this will become an epiphany to malware authors," he said.
Cyber criminals generally steered clear of mobile devices because currently Microsoft's Windows operating system is the prime target of criminal attacks today. Security experts say that this is because mobile phones haven't traditionally stored a lot of sensitive data, and because there are so many different devices to attack, it's hard to create a single virus that can infect a large number of users.
Phone manufacturers or IT professionals working with these corporations need to do their part to keep these smart devises safe. One way to mitigate security breaches is with technical security training. Information security professionals can increase their information security knowledge and skills by embarking on highly technical and advanced training programs. EC-Council has launched the Center of Advanced Security Training (CAST), to address the deficiency of highly technically skilled information security professionals.
CAST will provide advanced technical security training covering topics such as Advanced Penetration Testing, Digital Mobile Forensics, Advanced Application Security, Advanced Network Defense, and Cryptography. These highly technical and advanced information security training will be offered at all EC-Council hosted conferences and events, and through specially selected EC-Council Authorized Training Centers.