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Yet Another Attack Vector

By Steve Jones,

There's a new movie that's just come out in August. It looks funny, and I'm planning on going to see Let's Be Cops. I know it's a movie, it's not real, but it concerns me, even with a ruling on warrant-less searches of digital devices. I'm sure you think that an arrest wouldn't breach your digital security, but how much of a stretch is it for someone to impersonate a police officer (it happens), pull over an executive or engineer, and "search" their cell phone. It's especially possible if most of us expect that the police have the right to look in our devices (they don't).

What concerns me is that this is another attack vector into our lives, and potentially, into our companies and organizations. We store more and more information, and access, in our digital devices. We use VPNs, and even authentication tokens, but we often store those on our devices because we can't memorize everything. If someone has control on of our devices, the potentially have access to anything we do.

How hard would it be for someone to access our mail, or some resource through our work VPN? How quickly could determined attackers perform some malicious activity, or worse, copy information that we'd never be aware was lost? It's not likely, and perhaps it's far-fetched, but it seems criminals are becoming more and more creative all the time.

I worry about our data, but more importantly, I worry about the rights and privacy of our digital information. I hope we update our expectations and rights to meet the challenges of our digital future.

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Steve Jones