GMA News Online

Android 'anti-spy' system created

October 25, 2011 12:51pm

Tags: Google
Worried your Android phone or tablet may end up in the wrong hands? A group of researchers may just have the solution for it.

The researchers at Virginia Tech have made a customized version of Google's Android OS that can secure sensitive data from an Android device based on the person's location.

Potential uses of the system include preventing hospital personnel from misusing patients’ personal information to military personnel who should not be carrying sensitive strategic information around, according to news site Talking Points Memo.

“A simple example would be, someone opens an app, opens some secure information, copies some information, and e-mails it to someone. We can defend against those kinds of things and prevent it from happening," said team leader Jules White, an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech.

White said what they did was create an enterprise policy engine based on a custom version of Android.

This engine allows a fine-grain level control of services and apps on the phone, he said.

White also said they could be using an app in a location deemed secure by the organization, but when they walk out of the secure location, the organization controlling the device could make it appear as if the sensitive data on it “had never existed."

Android devices under the setup can use Bluetooth and near-field communications infrastructure to determine the location of the user, and what level of access they have to what kind of information, as well as the level of functionality of their device.

Organizations using the system will have to equip their staff with the customized Android phones - and remotely controlling the phones' functionality. — TJD, GMA News
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Tags: Google

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