The InfoSec Blog
25Jun/15

Another reason to have a policy not to eat at your operations

I've worked in places where the policy was that you're not allowed to bring a camera in; that was before cell phones, I admit, but I imagine there are places where such is enforced today. My current cell phone doesn't have the resolution of a spy-era Minox, but there are better available, and a phone has a lot more storage and fair bit of image processing power.

I worked in places in the last century that were "cheap" and encouraged what we now call a BYOD practice. no policy, just a cheap departmental manager and people who liked their own toys. Of course there was no
sanitization process for any of the incoming. Not once and not daily. I brought my Linux laptop in and guess what! I was running SAMBA. Cheap manager still did not get the idea that a uncontrolled BYOD practice was high risk. Someone joked that they could put a Windows Server on their laptop. The next day everyone - except me - was taken down by a virus. The central IT guys isolated us for three weeks, I'm not sure if it was punishment or purge.

The reality is that in this day of widespread BYOD proactive companies do need to practice a sanitization regime.

And the more personalized "wearable" devices will just make this more complex.

Yes, I've heard of people who have chips embedded in them. I'd worry that the chips had other purposes. We know pacemakers can be hacked. I've posted about parents who want to have GPS locators embedded in their children so they could be traced just as if they were pets or possessions. We've heard about the cell phone with embedded explosive used for assassination. Just as the CIA tried assassination tricks against Castro so too modern technology offers many such possibilities for the embedded, partially embedded (as in hearing aids) and simply carried devices we have. I'm sure that someone could come up with an app that was forcibly downloaded (we've seen the recent stories of the shortcomings of app downloads to Samsung devices ) and I see no reason why such app couldn't cause the lithium ion battery to explode and cause injury or damage.

Ultimately, personal networked electronics are the Big Brother of the 21st century but marketing straight out of Poul&Kornbluths "The Space Merchants" has made such things desirable.

 

Posted by antonaylward

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