As smartphones and the applications that run on them take off, businesses and consumers are beginning to confront a budding dark side of the wireless Web. The apps have been a key selling point for devices like Apple’s iPhone. But concerns are growing among security researchers and government officials that efforts to keep out malicious software aren’t keeping up with the apps craze. The Air Force has banned app downloads on service BlackBerries, and the FBI extends the rule to all types of smartphone. “Mobile phones are a huge source of vulnerability,” says Gordon Snow, the AD of the Bureau’s Cyber Division, adding criminal activity is on the rise.
Cyberspace will provide “tremendous opportunities for the future, but also tremendous vulnerabilities.” That, from the new commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. In his first public appearance since assuming his new post, General Keith Alexander said his Cyber Command will go to work on a more comprehensive department-wide approach to cyberspace. Denial of service attacks are being replaced with a more serious type of attack.
With the U.S. Cyber Challenge underway, all eyes are on last year’s winner: 17-year-old Michael Coppola. The Cyber Challenge is looking for 10,000 young Americans with the skills to fill the cybersecurity ranks, using a series of competitions in various areas of cyber security. Last year, Michael won by doing something no one else had, reports MyFoxBoston. He hacked the points system used to determine the winner. And by doing that, proved he just might be the future of cyber security in the U.S.
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-10 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.