Monday, June 30, 2008

Mobile phone security awareness: Secure wipe and IPhone 2.0

Mobile phones, particularly smartphones are becoming ubiquitous, and many users are forwarding organizational email to their private devices. With sensitive data potentially accessible on these devices, the ability to wipe them securely has become a necessity. Vendors are starting to make progress - mobile device encryption is becoming more available, and wipe utilities that securely wipe data are being announced. The most recent? Apple's Iphone 2.0 firmware.

AppleInsider reports that the Iphone 2.0 firmware will include the ability to perform a secure wipe of the device. According to AppleInsider, "Unlike today's iPhone software, however, the revised function will wipe data in similar fashion to the "Secure Empty Trash" function of Mac OS X, by which all data is deleted, unlinked, and then overwritten several times to make it irretrievable by even the savviest of recovery tools."

This is far better than the current delete function, which leaves remnant data in place.

Apple will go one step further however, as the new firmware will also include a feature allowing remote wiping of a stolen or lost phone - a feature that both end users and enterprise security staffers will be delighted to have.

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