Comments on: Bricking your cell phone: Mayhem on a Massive Scale News, Views, and Insight from the ESET Security Community Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:49:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Charles Jeter Tue, 22 Jun 2010 16:21:02 +0000 @ MKotS:

:) Yeah, but thanks for the blast from the past. Evidently my comment was eaten by the system, but I figure two things – first, unfortunately TDMA tower bandwith was sacrificed on the altar of cost savings through hardware streamlining… so TDMA (D-AMPS) went the way of APMS everywhere. In my research for my now digitally trashed comment, I did see some names I hadn’t seen in over ten years – Dobson Communications, AT&T Mobility, and the likes. Wow. Awesome.

More history on cellular’s ‘Golden Age’ in the 1990s if you’re interested.

Nokia is still one of my preferred handset vendors, although I swapped for Handspring / Palm years ago and now I’m stuck with whatever the company gives me. Most likely Nokia wanted to mitigate their cost of cable synching a deluge of old handsets and decided a hundred bucks was the way to go… I used to own stock in Nokia and made some good money buying in at $26 and selling around $35 in 2007, can’t recall if I still own it so I might mention that fact… :)

By: MysticKnightoftheSea Tue, 22 Jun 2010 03:34:01 +0000 Sorry, just reread a couple of lines. Seems they did. Thanks a heckuva lot, AT&T!

By: MysticKnightoftheSea Tue, 22 Jun 2010 03:30:45 +0000 Just a question: when I discontinued my AT&T TDMA service, the phones not only stopped working (expected), I couldn't access any of the data (phone #s, saved SMS,etc.) or even access the games. When I inquired back to AT&T/Cingular as to why, they referred me to Nokia to attempt data recovery. Nokia wanted to charge $100 per phone for the privilege. I was royally put out with AT&T when my phones stopped working immediately, and not just the service. If they had given me warning it would happen it would not have been so bad; I could have copied/forwarded the important stuff.
Sorry the above was background. The question: did/do the cellphone service providers have a 'Kill Pill' of their own?

By: Charles Jeter Mon, 24 May 2010 15:06:12 +0000 Hi Gavin,

Thanks for your comment! Appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, after spending a couple years in the wireless data sector with a major OEM manufacturer as well as conversations at length with our stateside Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, I’m in disagreement with you as to what is unrealistic.

The feasability study of the SMS based attacks is found within the third party group’s report. I’m very interested in any resources people dedicate to debunking this report as well as others.

As far as criminal intent to use the potential breaches of security, basic criminology shows that there is a potential for extortion wherever any breach is possible.
As far as nation state intent, I just attended a webex by Ira Winkler who referred to many potential infrastructure insider based abuse issues which he and a former GRU colonel, Stanislav Lunev, have investigated in many industries.

Additionally, Apple mentions that jailbroken cell phones lead to an infrastructure risk as quoted within the Register.

I wouldn’t mind the debate though… :) Thanks again for the comment!


By: Gavin Mon, 24 May 2010 13:51:24 +0000 Frankly, I think that this is an unrealistic scenario. You are being far too optimistic. I am increasingly concerned about the threat of alien invasion and the delivery of a masssive world affecting EMP. I saw a documentary recently where this was dealt with by using a non-processor specific virus which Jeff Goldblum was able to code up. I think this is the sort of system we should be thinking about, how to write polymorphic, self healing, self-learning, dynamic  code which will span any architecture and allow us to implement effective firewalls to defend from the 'alien' threat. 
As the ancient chinese curse says, "May you live in interesting times."