Lately, there is no shortage of hacks going on and the next vulnerability could be right in the palm of your hand – literally. Millions of mobile phones, laptops and home devices could be at risk of hacking after researchers discovered a new way to take over devices using the Bluetooth connection. They found a way to take over devices remotely stealing data and even hacking the camera.
Michael Sorrentino, CEO of the Eye Patch Case, recently sat down with Inside Counsel to discuss how consumer can protect themselves from future hacks. “Software updates make life easier and give our tech longer lifecycles, but we sacrifice vulnerability,” he said. “That's why consumers need a hack-proof layer of security, and that's through hardware like ours - you simply can't hack a piece of plastic.”
To date, Android phones have been more vulnerable than Apple products, but this report should be a wake-up call to users of the world's most popular smartphone model Apple's iPhone. Android phones are more open than Apple because Android must be compatible with thousands of devices, while Apple controls the hardware as well as the software. This allows for more vulnerabilities in the software, according to Sorrentino. Consumers want their phones to reflect their sense of style, and there's a new wave of security products like the EyePatch Case, which allows consumers to add a layer of security without sacrificing appearance.
So, why are there an increasing number of hacks going on lately? Many reasons, according to Sorrentino - from corporate espionage to a jealous ex, there are many people who would just LOVE to get at all the precious data on your phone. This includes your contacts, recent conversations, and even a live stream from your always-on video camera.
“Like cracks in a wall, as devices become more sophisticated there are more openings in software for hackers to exploit,” he explained. “We put too much blind trust into our computers and phones, when we should all be more vigilant.”
Like many of us, you may have Bluetooth enabled on your phone all the time. However, a recent piece of malware called "Blueborne" tricks a phone into thinking it is pairing with a safe device. It then plants malicious software that can do any number of things from accessing the camera, microphone, or your personal data and contacts.
In this case, researchers were able to take over devices remotely stealing data and even hacking the camera. Per Sorrentino, they did so by exploiting software vulnerabilities in Android, iOS, and Windows phones, they were able to access the camera. Apple, Google, and Microsoft all say they have patched these bugs, but the simple truth is that hackers will always find a way.
“We all need an additional layer of security for peace of mind, if nothing else,” he said. “We simply cannot rely on software alone to protect us, we need to add a hack-proof hardware solution (like the EyePatch Case) that you just can't bypass.”
What are ways consumers can protect themselves?
Sorrentino advises not to connect to strange Wi-Fi networks, turn off Bluetooth when not using it (it'll also save your battery), and have a good password (that's not simply "password"). In addition, use the tools that are out there - companies like EyePatch Case provide an elegant solution to security by incorporating a simple lens cover over your phone's cameras.
He said, “You need a layered approach combined with common sense.”