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Mobile Phone Theft: An unsolvable problem?
 

Mobile Phone Theft: An unsolvable problem?

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This talk was given at Oxford University on the 26th of October 2011 as part of their Information Security and Privacy Programme....

This talk was given at Oxford University on the 26th of October 2011 as part of their Information Security and Privacy Programme.

Over the past ten years, considerable effort has been put into engineering preventative solutions, policing and locating lost and stolen devices. Unfortunately theft of mobile devices continues to be an issue. Youth on youth crime is a particular issue in today’s world, where children take hundreds of pounds worth of electronic equipment to school with them every day. This talk will explore the issues and ask the following questions: Are we looking at a social issue rather than a technological one? Does new technology such as NFC and basing our lives in the cloud increase the risk of theft? Would the introduction of biometrics on phones put us as users at more of a risk than if we didn’t have it?

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  • Street theft impacts the user the most and can do in a physical and violent way.Theft from shops is still prevalent and impacts the store locally in terms of lost sales and the ultimately the company more widely in terms of increases in insurance premiums.Bulk theft goes under the radar of a lot of people. Mobile phones are targeted by organised criminal gangs from both storage warehouses through to lorries being hijacked. The Transport Asset Protection Association figures from August 2011 show that well over the biggest proportion of cargo thefts are electronics. Laptops, mobile phones and cameras are the most stolen products. The UK remains a hotspot for crime.This presentation concentrates mainly on the issues that affect users the most – street crime.Youth on youth crime is a particular problem
  • This is not to say that further pressure is not necessary. A couple of manufacturers are still dragging their heels on security. New challenges such as additional bearers (e.g. WiFi) mean that IMEI blocking is not going to be 100% effective.It should be said that mobile operators have managed to stay below the radar and have not significantly invested in improving EIRs or in some cases overseas, are not using them at all to block phones.
  • (verbal run through of what happens)
  • UK crime reduction charter agreed between MICAF and Home Office with tests against SEIR blocking timesA lot of edge issues around unblocking / delisting such as: http://paulclarke.com/honestlyreal/2010/07/my-phones-been-blacklisted/
  • Hardware security in devices has massively improved with the introduction of various standards, including OMTP’s Advanced Trusted Environment, TR1. Some work needs to be done by a couple of manufacturers.
  • Manufacturers and their authorised agents (i.e. regional repair centres doing legitimate programming) are exemptThis act could also be theoretically used to target hardware hacking. Unique identifier also offers the opportunity to protect MAC address? Should this be a focus in the future? What about MAC address blocking?Offences like money laundering carry a much higher sentence and are more easy to prove than IMEI reprogramming
  • Non-use of the CEIR means that phones are just disappearing abroad
  • Robberies increase during times of hardship
  • Snatch and pickpocketing are up
  • Fake phones are a real problem. This issue directly affects consumers in terms of the quality of the product they’re getting – for example exploding batteries are frequently fake because they don’t have the correct protection circuits. The RF performance of counterfeit devices has been shown to be really poor. Often these devices have dual SIM capability which is not something that you normally see in legitimate devices.From a theft / blocking point of view, many of these devices do not use correct or legitimate IMEIs. This leads to lots of duplicates. Counterfeit devices from China, known as “Shanzhai” are a particular problem in African countries. The MMF estimates that around 50% of phones in Uganda are fake.
  • There are countless examples such as this “Blockberry”, supposedly endorsed by Barrack Obama!
  • Managing a global blacklist is a nightmare.Sometimes just moving operators and giving the call centre operator a sob story is enough to make them de-list the blocked handset.
  • Easy to launder mobile wallet cash – just go and buy something for less than £10 in Argos then sell it on ebay / market stall
  • There are lots of different solutions out there, from PINs to pictures. The problem is that users opt for convenience and don’t think they need the PINlock until it is too late.
  • There are problems with cloud based solutions for authenticating to devices. The device may not always be able to get network.
  • Biometrics put the whole access problem on the user
  • But even without biometrics, some horrific crimes can be committed for the thing that people have to “know”
  • This is Samsung’s ad campaign from India which tells a story with the moral “how far will you run with a stolen phone”. Video: http://youtu.be/9XkFfw6wduY
  • Backup, lock and wipe, just lock only, disable, locate featuresSome of these apps can also not be removed by a hard reset
  • Developers are coming up with some innovative ideasThe ugly truth is there is no silver bullet to mobile phone theft. However, the sum of the solutions may help to reduce the problem as a whole.
  • WiFi usage,UMA problems in the future?Should devices be further secured, how about MAC address security?My view: There is no one solution. This is a very complex problem, because of the differing circumstance but we need a solution to the very difficult problem of export, supported by national / regional regulation. Users have to take there part too in terms of their own responsibility over stolen property.

Mobile Phone Theft: An unsolvable problem? Mobile Phone Theft: An unsolvable problem? Presentation Transcript

  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org David Rogers, Copper Horse Solutions Ltd. 26th October 2011 MOBILE PHONE THEFT: AN UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM? OXFORD UNIVERSITY INFORMATION SECURITY & PRIVACY SEMINAR SERIES Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org SOME INFORMATION About Me  12 years in the mobile industry  Hardware and software background  Head of Product Security at Panasonic Mobile  Worked with industry and government on IMEI and SIMlock security  Pioneered some early work in mobile phone forensics  Brought industry together on security information sharing  Director of External Relations at OMTP  Programme Manager for advanced hardware security tasks  Chair of Incident Handling task  Head of Security and Chair of Security Group at WAC  Owner and Director at Copper Horse Solutions  Blog: http://blog.mobilephonesecurity.org, Twitter: @drogersuk About Copper Horse Solutions Ltd.  Established in 2011  Software and security company  Focussed on the mobile phone industry  Services:  Mobile phone security consultancy  Industry expertise  Standards representation  Mobile application development  http://www.copperhorsesolutions.com Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org THE PROBLEM  Millions of mobile phones are stolen each year globally  Some countries have not recognised it as a problem  UK has led the way  2001 Home Office study:  710,000 phones stolen in the UK every year  Large percentage of this was likely to be insurance fraud  Despite many technical measures, it is still a problem today Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org TYPES OF THEFT  Street theft / theft from user  Individual handsets (muggings etc.)  Theft from shops  Multiples (burglaries)  Bulk theft  Pallet loads (truck theft etc.) Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org YOUTH ON YOUTH CRIME  School bag in 2011 is £000s different to 1991  Issues with bullying, theft, abuse of service and re-sale of stolen handsets  Education is key: Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org CRAVED  Six elements that make products attractive to thieves:  Concealable  Removable  Available  Valuable  Enjoyable  Disposable  Report argues that “how much depends on ease of disposal” From: Ron Clarke - „Hot Products: understanding, anticipating and reducing Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved demand for stolen goods‟ http://www.popcenter.org/problems/shoplifting/PDFs/fprs112.pdf
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org ROOT CAUSES  Value of device  Can be shipped and sold overseas where it will still work  Features and commodities on device  Apps, music, money  WiFi enables device to continue to be used  Theft of service – still an issue e.g. calls abroad  Possession  It is just something else someone is carrying (belts have been stolen in the past!)  not allowing user to call for help Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org CAR CRIME V PHONE CRIME  Analogy everyone uses in government: “we solved car crime by putting pressure on the manufacturers to introduce security, we can do the same for mobile phones”  Mobile is different!  Remember CRAVED  Users need to access device very regularly – ease of access is very important  Much lower cost device than a car  Easy to lose, then subsequently stolen  Small, easy to export  High youth on youth crime  Attention to car crime has reduced it significantly but:  Increases in carjacking and aggravated burglary (for keys)  Hacking of wireless ignition systems Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org Explanation of how a phone is disabled after theft Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org HOW BLOCKING WORKS  Blacklisting  (whitelists and greylists exist too) 357213000000290 357213000000128 357213000030123 Country GSM Association SEIR CEIR EIR EIR EIR EIR EIR EIR EIR Operator  Also: in UK - NMPR – Police database of property can be checked while on patrol Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org INDUSTRY STEPS OVER 10 YEARS  Vastly improved IMEI security  Manufacturers have fought a long battle with embedded systems hackers  Industry “IMEI Weakness and Reporting and Correction Process”  42 day reporting for fixes  Progress reported regularly to European Commission  UK charter on mobile phone theft and UKSEIR  Operators still lagging with CEIR sign-up  Very few connected  National governments need to take the lead  Some operators not investing in EIRs Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org MOBILE TELEPHONES (RE-PROGRAMMING) ACT (2002)  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/31/contents  Offences:  Change a unique device identifier  Interfere with the operation of a unique device identifier  Possession (with intent) of tool and offering to re-program  Maximum 5 years imprisonment In the last 2 years, 5 investigations, no convictions*  Problem – most tools were dual use (maintenance, SIMlock removal AND IMEI change). Very difficult and costly to prove  Other offences involved are often more serious  e.g money laundering  Deterrent effect? Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved * Source: National Mobile Phone Crime Unit
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org RECYCLING AND EXPORT  Lots of stolen phones are exported, re-sold abroad through the web or “recycled”  Recyclers Charter and Code of Practice  Check incoming phones are not stolen  Some foreign recyclers offering to take blocked phones from the UK  Very difficult to work out exactly how many stolen phones are exported as they just disappear  Each network looks after their own data  Evidence to suggest that stolen phones are exported to classic shipment hubs overseas such as Dubai Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org REGIONAL THEFT GUARD  Investigated at length by industry  An alternative method of disabling mobiles as not all operators were using the CEIR  3 solutions were investigated but proved to be at issue:  Could be subverted by other means once in place  High threat of collusion at a low level  Tough to prove originating operator / owner – e.g. whether stolen  Not a panacea by any means Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org SITUATION NOW From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2051414/iPhone- Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved BlackBerry-phones-targetted-thieves-leads-7-rise-knifepoint- robbery.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org CURRENT STATS IN UK  Mobile phone theft is increasing (FY 2010/11)  Nationally mobile phone thefts in all crime: +9.7%  Nationally mobile phones stolen during personal robbery: +13.4%  And in London during robbery: +21.4%  60% of all mobiles stolen in personal robbery in London are Blackberry or iPhone Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org COUNTERFEITS From: http://reviews.ebay.com/Avoid-Buying-Fake-Nokia-Cell-Phone-Battery-On- eBay_W0QQugidZ10000000001916166 And: http://www.slashgear.com/uk-could-become-key-counterfeit-route-after-trademark-ruling-1452340/ Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org COUNTERFEITS (2) From: http://www.littleredbook.cn/2009/07/06/o bamas-sponsorship-of-shanzhai- Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved blockberry-chinese-netizens-reactions/
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org GLOBAL BLACKLISTING PROBLEMS Blacklisting Social engineering for other User error – wrong Lost then IMEI of call centre staff found reasons such as fraud Jurisdictional Differences Network Operator A cannot trust data from Network Mass duplicates of Operator B IMEIs from counterfeit devices Not blacklisting quickly enough Counterfeit devices Is the IMEI “personal data”? deliberately copying legitimate IMEIs Human error What about other features of the in call centres phone that are not disabled? Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org NEAR FIELD COMMUNICATIONS  Samsung, RIM, Google Wallet and others… Another reason to steal a phone  Demo application developed for capturing credit card numbers  Numerous attack scenarios outlined already  Peer-to-peer payments Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved From: http://www.retroworks.co/scytale.htm
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org Access control is becoming much more important Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4396831.stm
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org BIOMETRICS  Still immature on mobile devices  Early solutions easy to defeat (e.g. gummy finger etc.)  Requires significant processing power  May see some kind of cloud-based solution emerge (e.g. voice biometrics)  Android 4.0 has facial recognition based on acquisition of Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition  Increased risk for the user  User as unlock key means user becomes the target of attack  Same issue as car crime Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4396831.stm
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org CHALLENGES FOR BIOMETRICS  False negatives:  Eyelashes too long  Long fingernails  Arthritis  Circulation problems  People wearing hand cream  People who‟ve just eaten greasy foods  People with brown eyes  Fingerprint abrasion, includes: Manual labourers, typists, musicians  People with cuts  Disabled people Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org BIOMETRICS (2) Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4396831.stm
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org RESULT OF: “USER IS THE KEY” Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved Sources: ITV, Evening Standard, BBC
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org HELPFUL TECHNOLOGY  “Cloud” and 3rd party client applications:  Offline backup  Lock and wipe functionality  Locate my phone  Traditional anti-virus vendors are providing packaged functionality  Parental controls  Not just technology – also consumer awareness and education  Mobile industry is still well aware of the problem and willing to help Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org TRACKING STOLEN PHONES  Being introduced as standard on many handsets  Privacy concerns if misused  What good is it if your phone appears abroad? From: http://www.apple.com/iphone/built-in-apps/find-my-iphone.html Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved And: http://www.samsungdive.com/DiveMain.do
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org 3RD PARTY SOLUTIONS  Traditional AV vendors can finally add real value  Packaged, holistic apps: Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved From: https://www.mylookout.com/features/missing-device/
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org 3RD PARTY SOLUTIONS (2)  Design Out Crime Competition  Usual “detect if user walks away” etc  Over The Air event – Competition sponsored by NMPCU  Winner: “Freeze Punk”  Motion sensor using camera – e.g. in hotels / on tables  Another app for users without PINs:  dummy banking app which initiates a tracking feature as it connects to the web  can inform friends nearby to the phone  Real life usage is often not compatible with anti-theft solutions  Barrier to disable feature – e.g. PIN  Not easy to design something useful Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org POINT OF SALE REGISTRATION?  http://www.immobilise.com Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org WILL THE POLICE BE OVERWHELMED?  Problem could become not one of theft, but of recovery  Users are able to track and identify the location of their stolen goods  No lawful way of users recovering them  Users expect Police to do something  Recovery of the phone is the most important thing  Detection of crime is becoming extremely successful  Need to think more carefully about how to manage theft and robbery problems  Prevention becomes an imperative Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org THE ENGINEERING REQUIREMENTS OF AN UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM?  Design a phone that is usable but immediately useless when stolen  The phone may have multiple bearers and functions  A phone that can be locked but reactivated if lost and found  A global blocking system which is accurate and that works around the world for every phone  A phone that keeps users‟ data private and safe from disclosure if stolen or lost Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved From: http://www.retroworks.co/scytale.htm
  • http://www.mobilephonesecurity.org DISCUSSION Contact Email: david.rogers@copperhorses.com Twitter: @drogersuk Blog: http://blog.mobilephonesecurity.org Copyright © 2011 Copper Horse Solutions Limited. All rights reserved