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Information security in Nokia Series 60 smartphones
Not sinking into a spy mania, we'd like to note there is a plenty of data accessing which is undesirable for unauthorized people. This data vary from codes for credit cards to personal photos, which the owner would like to hide from unapproved view. Such information is usually protected with passwords, which unfortunately are often forgotten. And also here are two problems - first, these passwords must be hard to decode, and second, they are to be stored somewhere. The first task is partly solved by the use of long keys, at the same time the second one is quite different. On the one hand, the keys should be extremely close to the owner, and on another hand - inaccessible to a stranger. Now a mobile phone is not the worst place to keep this data. And even more, some companies make special software special for setting passwords for applications and keeping them inside this special program also protected with a password. Certainly, remembering one password is much easier than several dozens. Today we review both programs for protecting personal content inside the phone and for keeping passwords for exterior recourses.
The developer is EpocWare. Their site you can find following the link - www.epocware.com. Commercial distribution. The price forms $5.20.
This is a program for creating a whole data base of ciphered information. The access is protected with password created at the first opening. Quite a reliable algorithm for ciphering was used (448-bit Blowfish). There are two big default folders where you can save personal data; they are "Business" and "Private". You can also create new folders; the number is restricted with only free memory size. All the fields are fully duplicated in the folders and represent ready forms for data input.
Available in the program are address, bank account, credit cards, lock code, car data, passport data, serial numbers, membership cards, e-mail and many more. Extra fields add a text note, a number, a phone number, date and time. You can change the password, icons display, and time for the active mode closure. After you close the window, to return to the viewing mode, you'll have to enter the password again. Several European languages are supported, Russian as well.
The program is followed by a utility for editing the data on PC. All the fields in the phone and on PC coincide, and entering data with a full-size keypad is much more comfortable. When you finish entering data, you can transfer it to the phone. The same utility may be used for storing personal data on PC.
A general conclusion is that is a real small personal safe for confidential information comfortable in use. The rice makes it look much more attractive than the rivals. The fully functional version of the program for our tests was provided by the maker.
Twin programs by other makers joint this one.
The developer is Nova Epoc. The site of the company is www.epocnova.com. Commercial distribution. Price - $17.40.
Already mentioned Blowfish mechanism is used for ciphering, but the key is 256 bit. The other organization rules for the data base are equal. The same 35 forms for data input, the same capability to add information extra. The appearance though is different. The data saved is displayed as a usual tree, and you can opt to change icons for external difference. Any form can be sent using integrated service; a personal SMS-server is a unique feature of the program. The idea is you can request the ciphered base from another phone. The server is installed while installing the program, so you can refuse it. If the server is installed, you can send an SMS containing the password to your number from any other phone and get the necessary data from the base. The query format is shown on the pic. 7. And the reply contained "Found 2 entries: #4 - American Express, #8 - American Express". The repeated query with "//xsafe mypass #4" gave the data entered into the base before. Thus this program allows all the members of the family to access the code base saved in a reliable place.
No direct data base saving is realized. However, if copying a file from the program folder on the disk or from the phone's memory to a computer you will be able to restore it later.
One more similar program that is a middlet in Java.
The maker is Twistsoft, their site - www.twistsoft.com.
The developer's site gives no information about the product - most evidently it is not supported any more. But with no problem you can find a free version on the Internet.
All the entered data is also divided into categories, there are eight of them. Traditionally data on bank accounts, cards, e-mail data, membership cards, and serial numbers of programs, personal notes and passwords is present. He last category allows several types - computer, dial-up connections, online shops and banks, sites and other, Every time you attend to enter data, you are offered to create a new entry or open already existent. Only an option for changing the general password in resent in the settings. The disadvantage is it can't close the main window after minimizing to the tray on time. The data is also unsaved automatically then. That's why you should be attentive. Free distribution is a serious advantage.
Maker - Splash data, site - www.splashdata.com. Free of charge.
Here is a very interesting and functional program. Allows restricting access to various data and has unlimited number of adjusted categories ("Business", "Private" and so on). Each category can contain various data from bank account to e-mail passwords. You can have any of 19 form views; edit both form fields and data entered. Each entry can have any of 60 icons assigned. Even having entered the program with entering the password you can change the ay of data representation. Pressing * you hide password data in a general field. And again Blowfish is used. Using an external program you can view data and edit it on PC with the following synchronization. The PC program costs $19.95.
The conclusion is that is one of the most functional programs in its class. And its free distribution adds attraction.
A Data Safe utility by Jwalter may be used for keeping text entries under a general password.
Developers - Jwalter, site www.jwalter.info. Commercial distribution. Price - $10.
This program is used for storing text data under a general password. Every new text note entered into the program folder or created in it using the integrated interface gains the property of a new category. Accessing it is possible only after the password is entered. The program allows changing the language fast and turning the dictionary on. Other functions are very plain - you can change the password, set the time for automatic lock. With the autolock on the program closes the main window after the standstill time specified in the settings passes. Opening it again, you'll have to enter the password once more. That is very comfortable, because if you forgot to close the program it will do it automatically. The data entered won't be lost. A slightly insufficiently considered interface is a real disadvantage. Pressing the right soft key in any window you close the application, but not shift to the previous window. Also no import of phonebook channels is possible; you'll have to enter them manually.
The conclusion tells it is a comfortable program for keeping text information under a general password with unlimited number of categories.
Photos, sounds and video can be protected with passwords as well. Several specialized utilities serve for this purpose.
Maker - EpocWare. Site - www.epocware.com. Commercially distributed. Price - $4.20.
This program allows safely keep ciphered graphical data. The very same encoding mechanism as in Handy Safe is used. The program itself is also protected with a password entered at the first start and remembered.
Traditionally, you are asked to confirm the first password entering. The working principle is photos chosen by the user are entered into the base. At the same time these photos are moved to the program folder and escape general access.
In fact, ciphering is two-stage. The first one processes the file with the help of the algorithm, the second moves the file to the system folder in the phone's memory, there a special place called PhotoSafe is created at installation. Inside there are folders Images, Images_tn and Temp and a password file with the extension of *.pwd. The first one contains stored photos; the second one has keys for opening images. And the last folder is used for restoring photos when viewing. The ciphered photos are not displayed in the galley folders. If transferring them to a PC and opening in some graphical editor, you get a message telling about an inadmissible file format. You can return the image to the original appearance. Then you have to apply "Back" from the main menu. There are not many settings in the program; you can only change the password and the lock time. The last version allows just turning it off.
The conclusion is that is a plain and comfortable utility for graphical files. By the way, rather chip. The disadvantage memory is filled with ciphered files too fast.
Already mentioned maker - Nova Epoc. Distributed as shareware. Price - $14.20.
Used for storing gallery files and text notes under the password. The demo version allows working only with video files and notes. The files can be sent directly from the program. Copies can be saved at file import.
Special software for assigning a password to messages can be found in the Internet.
Maker - MumCode Software, site - www.mumcode.com. Commercial distribution. Price - $22.81.
This utility is used for message confidentiality. After the program is installed, all the messages both received and sent (including drafts) will be automatically locked for view without a password. The number of user profiles is unlimited and you can easily switch between them. Two profiles are supported - black list, which hides all the messages from the users automatically, and the white list - messages from all users of the list are visible to everybody.
Hidden messages can be read after entering the password only. You can send messages in usual way - including e-mail.
Supported 15 languages include Russian.
Also you can find complex programs, which allow keeping messages and multimedia files at the same time.
Developer - Aims Migital Technovations, site - www.migital.com. Distribution type - shareware. Price - € 24.60.
This program slows protecting any private data (messages, contacts, gallery and so on) both in the phone's memory and memory card. The demo version allows saving only sent, received, drafts and My folder. The full version allows saving a password for any messages, contacts and gallery files.
And one more interesting development of this class.
Developers Symbian - Ware. Site - www.symbianware.com. Distributed as shareware. Price - €9.95.
Unlike all the mentioned programs, the Smart crypto utility allows individual password for any file in the phone or a memory card. So, you can protect with a password a file with a reserve copy of data or any other. At the same time, the program remains on the same place and not moves to the phone memory.
We hope the programs considered will allow you choosing security software up to you. All the applications above work with on smartphones with an operating system version 7.0 without any trouble. Free alternatives programs should be specially mentioned.
Published - 8 September 2005
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