Hacking PDAs: Don't put secure information on them? Advisory & Rebuttal

by Todd Ogasawara

Related link: http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=146358

Reuters reports that Bryan Glance of MobileArmor advises us not to put any secure information on a PDA (Palm OS or Pocket PC based) in Reuters: Hand-Held Devices Easy to Hack, Security Experts Say.

Ed Hansberry (PocketPCThoughts Contributing Editor)offers a rebuttal to this claim and some advice at: PocketPCThoughts: Handheld Devices Lack Security?

Me? I tend to be Ed's camp on this matter. PDAs are a great tool. And, one of the tool functions it can provide is to store secure information in a secure way. The trick it to make sure to use additional software tools to make keep that information secure. And, as Ed points out, those tools are out there. Quite honestly, I think information with appropriate security software stored in a PDA is more secure than storing that same information written on a card in my physical wallet.

What do you think? Do you believe you can adequately secure information on your PDA?


2003-08-05 13:41:18
Couldn't read the Reuters article
Unfortunately, the link to the Reuters article is down. As far as handheld devices being secure? I suppose as long as you use 3rd party tools to secure your data (which most people do on their regular PCs anyway), you're as safe as with your PC if you ever lose physical control of the device. Additionally, while the security features may not keep out a determined "thief" just as a window would not keep out a determined robber, they are good enough to prevent prying eyes from viewing your data. Lets face it, that is the biggest protection most of us will ever need. I'm sure people would like to have my CC #, but am I being actively "hunted"? Probably not.
2003-08-06 21:29:03
A fundamental change in PDA security
I had the opportunity to preview technology from Trio Security that provides 3-Factor User Authentication to access the PDA. They use AES. It was quite remarkable. In fact, I was fortunate enough to get a complimentary copy for use on my new Kyocera 7135 Smartphone.

I was told by the companies founder that they are expecting to come out of stealth mode by Oct. 03.

I believe this technology will change the discussion regarding PDA security and the storing of sensitive data. In fact, the data on the PDA is far more secure than the info on my laptop.