Feeds

First hackers sighted in high speed mobile phone arena

T-Mobile puts up firewall to guard against risk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

T-Mobile has installed a firewall on its GPRS network in the States after a small number of users complained of receiving hacker probes when using its high-speed mobile service.

The issue came to light after Mike Palmer, the technology director for the broadcast division of AP, spotted numerous probes against his PC while using T-Mobile's GPRS network, Computerworld reports.

T-Mobile admitted to Computerworld that around 100 users were affected by the issue, prior to the recent introduction of a firewall on open segments of its GPRS network. Palmer told reporters that he's not spotted probes since then.

Like DSL broadband, GPRS networks offer an always on connection - hence a greater need for firewall protection both from service providers and end users than for dial-up connections. If mobile operators haven't this technology in place already, they ought to review their security policies pretty darn quick.

"GPRS is an 'always on' service, with your IP address being propagated to a greater or lesser extent
throughout the wireless network," Neil Barrett, technical director at security consultants Information Risk Management told us. "I'm not aware of any personal firewall products for GPRS-enabled handhelds, and I'd have to suggest that there's a market there waiting for someone to rip into."

Barrett said if a user's GPRS has a Bluetooth connection to a laptop, which has a personal firewall installed, that partially addresses the security issue. But that's not the only issue to consider.

Since GPRS services are normally paid for by the volume of traffic used, hacker probes could end up costing end-users money as well as threatening their security.

"I love the idea of people having to pay for the hacker traffic that's attacking them," Barrett wryly notes. ®

Related story

Mobile security needs to change with GPRS
RIM propagates new BlackBerries

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.