National Security Agency (NSA), US, unveiled its plans to handle and increase mobile security. This new security plan design is reportedly heavily inspired from Google's Android platform based smartphones though the agency made it clear that they do not want the security plan to be platform dependent.
NSA, under the project name "Fishbowl" has provided 100 secure phones that are customised version of Android powered Motorola phones. These Motorola Android smartphones utilise "double-encryption" for voice traffic and also a one-of-its-kind "routing scheme" for the 3G network traffic "back to this US agency for the security purposes." reported CIO UK.
Technical director in NSA's information assurance directorate, Margaret Salter, at the RSA Conference talked about the "Fishbowl" project and stated, "There are vulnerabilities in every OS".
"The beauty of our strategy is that we looked at all of the components, and then took stuff out of the (Android) OS we didn't need. This makes the attack surface very small." Salter added reports ZDNet.
Commercial mobile operating systems were an option for the NSA but, as these don't offer the type of freedom such projects require, the likes of iOS were ruled out. "It's not because iOS was lousy, no. It's because of certain controls we needed. We were able to make some modifications to Android. Android had that freedom," she added.
The agency is also looking for interoperability so that they don't have to seek for vendor's approval but this will not be at all easy. "It's not our intention to use only Android."