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Mobile Handsets: A Panoramic Overview


Mobile Handsets: A Panoramic Overview Dong Xuan Associate Professor CSE Dept., The Ohio State University inTouch (1) Target Users: Small to medium groups of people ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mobile Handsets: A Panoramic Overview

Mobile Handsets A Panoramic Overview
  • Dong Xuan
  • Associate Professor
  • CSE Dept., The Ohio State University

  • Introduction
  • Handset Architecture
  • Handset Operating Systems
  • Networking
  • Applications
  • Security Risks and Mitigation Strategies

What Is A Mobile Handset?
  • A mobile handset (handset) is an electronic
    device that provides services to users, e.g.
  • Managing address book
  • Scheduling calendar
  • Cellular telephony
  • Accessing Internet, email
  • Handsets include smartphones and PDAs

Example handsets Apple iPhone, BlackBerry Storm,
Palm TreoPro
Handsets Your Next Computer?
  • Handsets small form factor, mobility have
    yielded meteoric sales 1
  • 3.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions as of Jan.
  • 2.7 billion subscriptions correspond to one
    person some people have multiple phones!
  • Rapid replacement rate young adults replace
    phones every 6 months in South Korea 1
  • These statistics are just for phones
  • Your handset your next computer? 2

Whats Inside a Mobile Handset?
Source 3
Handset Architecture (1)
  • Handsets use several hardware components
  • Microprocessor
  • ROM
  • RAM
  • Digital signal processor
  • Radio module
  • Microphone and speaker
  • Hardware interfaces
  • LCD display

Handset Architecture (2)
  • Handsets store system data in electronically-erasa
    ble programmable read-only memory (EEPROM)
  • Service providers can reprogram phones without
    requiring physical access to memory chips
  • OS is stored in ROM (nonvolatile memory)
  • Most handsets also include subscriber identity
    module (SIM) cards

Handset Microprocessors
  • Handsets use embedded processors
  • Intel, ARM architectures dominate market.
    Examples include
  • BlackBerry 8700, uses Intel PXA901 chip 4
  • iPhone, uses Samsung ARM 1100 chip 5
  • Low power use and code size are crucial 3
  • Microprocessor vendors often package all the
    chips functionality in a single chip
    (package-on-package) for maximum flexibility

Example The iPhones CPU
  • The iPhone a real-world mobile handset 67
  • Runs on Samsung S3C6400 chip, supports ARMv6
  • Very few details are known about the ARM Core,
    esp. given Apples secrecy
  • Highly modular architecture
  • Similar to Apples iPod Touch, which lacks
    telephony capability 8

Source 6
SIM Cards
  • They include their own microprocessor and 16 KB
  • They come in two sizes
  • Their versatility arises from portability of
  • SIM card identifies subscriber to network
  • Stores personal information, address books,
    messages, service-related information

Other Memory Cards
  • Some handsets include other peripheral memory
  • Compact Flash
  • Multimedia Card
  • Secure Digital
  • Handsets synchronize with a computer
  • Nowadays, computers include slots of various
    sizes to hold these memory cards

Handset Operating Systems
  • Currently, handsets run several OSes
  • Symbian OS
  • iPhone OS (an embedded version of OS X)
  • Windows Mobile
  • BlackBerry OS
  • Google Android Platform (based on Linux)
  • With the exceptions of Symbian and Android, these
    OSes are proprietary 910
  • Telecom carriers frequently lock down handset
    firmware, OSes to prevent user modifications

Handset OS Usage
  • According to British analysis firm Canalys,
    handset OS usage in 3Q 2008 had the following
    ranking (most to least) 11
  • Symbian OS
  • iPhone OS
  • BlackBerry OS
  • Windows Mobile
  • Linux (Android, etc.)
  • Others
  • iPhone OS surged ahead of BlackBerry OS, but with
    new BlackBerries and Android phones, this ranking
    may easily change in the future 11
  • Well now examine each OS individually

Symbian OS
  • Dominant OS in the mobile handset market
  • Runs exclusively on ARM processors
  • Owned by British firm Symbian Ltd.
  • Descendant of Psion EPOC OS (dev. in 1990s)
  • Sony Ericsson, Nokia, et al. bought shares in the
    firm until Nokia bought Symbian in 2008, formed
    Symbian Foundation to further future open handset
    development 12
  • Nokia plans to open-source the OS by 2009 9

Design of Symbian OS
  • Based on Psion EPOC desktop OS features include
  • Bare-bones microkernel (nanokernel)
  • Pre-emptive multitasking
  • Memory protection
  • Handset-centric design, can operate several
    months without reboot
  • Supports multiple UIs based on smartphone form
    factor (e.g., 320 240)

Symbian OS Devices
  • Numerous handsets use Symbian OS UIs largely
    based on manufacturer device
  • Nokia S60 includes J2ME, std. UI (mostly Nokia
  • Nokia S80 QWERTY keyboard, Web browser,
    enterprise office-doc. support (older Nokia
  • Nokia S90 used only on Nokia 7710
  • UIQ Sony Ericsson/Motorola GUI platform used
    primarily on those companies handsets
  • FOMA platform closed-dev. software platform
    used by handsets on NTT DoCoMos network (Japan)

Symbian OS v9 Architecture
Source 15 (heavily modified)
Symbian OS Development
  • Native language is C
  • Nokia provides free Eclipse-based Carbide.c
    development tools, Carbide.vs Visual Studio
  • Mac Linux development is possible
  • Can program in many other languages C, Java,
    Ruby, Python, Perl, OPL, Visual Basic, Simkin
  • Applications needing any capabilities beyond bare
    minimum must be cryptographically signed (see
  • Can also program in Adobe Flash Lite (mobile
    version of Flash)

iPhone OS
  • Runs on both the iPhone and iPod Touch
  • Variation of Mach microkernel-based OS X that
    fits in 512 MB flash memory, runs on ARM
    architecture 21
  • Four abstraction layers Core OS, Core Services,
    Media, Cocoa Touch 22
  • Core Animation and PowerVR MBX 3D hardware
    provide interface animations
  • 320 480 LCD display that supports multi-touch

iPhone Developer Program
  • iPhone Developer Program provides dev. tools,
    iPhone emulator, means to upload to App Store
  • To download SDK, you must apply to be a member,
    pay fees
  • Standard Developer 99
  • Enterprise Developer 299
  • Exception Apples free iPhone Developer
    University Program for higher-ed. institutions
  • SDK only runs on Mac OS X Leopard on Intel-based
    Macs (go figure)

iPhone Web App Development
  • You can develop Web apps for iPhone so long as
    they run on Safari 24
  • Safari features 2526
  • Auto-resizes Web pages to fit browser size
  • Multi-touch functionality
  • XHTML 1.1, CSS 2.1, JavaScript, W3C DOM Level 2,
    AJAX technology, cookies,
  • Does not support Flash or Java
  • iPhone Web apps should
  • Minimize user awareness of browser experience
  • Reproduce control style, layout, behavior of
    iPhone apps
  • Integrate with built-in iPhone features services

BlackBerry OS
  • BlackBerry OS is Research in Motions (RIMs)
    proprietary OS for its BlackBerry handsets
  • Provides multitasking, heavily uses BlackBerry
    input devices, e.g., thumbwheel
  • Current OS 4 provides a subset of Javas Mobile
    Information Device Profile (MIDP) 2.0
  • Developers can use these APIs, proprietary APIs
    to write software
  • All applications must be digitally signed so to
    link an app with the developer

BlackBerry Software
  • Email from BlackBerry service, MS Exchange,
    Domino, Yahoo, etc. can be pushed to the
  • Can view PDF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • BlackBerry Browser (only supports JavaScript)
  • Other online apps include
  • BlackBerry Maps
  • Facebook services
  • Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk
  • Calendar, Address Book, and PIM Sync via USB
  • GPS
  • See http// for much more
    information about handset and desktop software

BlackBerry Wireless Platform
  • RIM provides standards-based platform and
    developer tools to develop and deploy custom
    wireless applications
  • HTML Web browser
  • Java Mobile Edition development tools
  • .NET applications
  • BlackBerry handsets support standard networking
    protocols and connect to any type of server

BlackBerry Mobile Data System
  • BlackBerry Mobile Data System (MDS) supports MS
    Exchange, Lotus Domino, Novell GroupWire, and
    RIMs own MDS systems for messaging applications

BlackBerry Mobile Voice System
  • With this service, theres only one business
    number BlackBerry users must remember
  • Calls are routed to a BlackBerry handset,
    regardless of whether the call is directed to an
    office or mobile phone 27
  • Provides security and authentication through
    BlackBerry Enterprise Servers 28
  • IT administrators can lock down handsets, route
    calls through their telecom infrastructure, etc.

BlackBerry Internet Services
  • BlackBerry Internet Service leverages
    centrally-hosted wireless gateways, allowing
    users to access up to 10 supported email
    accounts, browse Internet

BlackBerry Developer Tools
  • RIM provides several development tools
  • BlackBerry MDS Studio
  • Developers can quickly create rich client apps
    using component-based drag-and-drop approach
  • Tool requires MDS runtime
  • BlackBerry plugin for MS Visual Studio
    (development on MDS platform)
  • BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE)
  • Provides IDE, simulation tools for Java ME app
    for Java-based BlackBerry so developers can
    create standalone or client-server apps

Windows Mobile
  • Windows Mobile is powered by Microsofts Windows
    CE embedded OS Windows CE runs on x86, MIPS,
    ARM, Hitachi SuperH processors
  • Latest version, 6.1, includes Windows Live
    services, Exchange 2007 mail access
  • Designed to closely mimic desktop Windows
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 includes mobile versions of
    Office applications, Outlook (w/HTML email),
    Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player
  • SQL Server 2005 included in ROM
  • .NET Compact Framework 2.0 included

Windows Mobile Development (1)
  • Native code is developed with MS Visual C
  • Microsoft strongly recommends development with
    managed code 19
  • Managed code is written in one of the .NET
    framework object-oriented languages
  • Compiled to MS Intermediate Language (MSIL) that
    all the languages share
  • At execution time, MSIL is compiled just in
    time to native object code
  • Contrast with Java
  • Java code is compiled to Java bytecode
  • Java interpreter interprets bytecode, dynamically
    compiles frequently-accessed bytecode into native
    object code (HotSpot)

.NET Framework in Context. Source 19
Windows Mobile Development (2)
  • Windows Mobile development tools include
  • Plugins for MS Visual Studio 2005, 2008, etc.
  • SDKs for Windows Mobile-based handsets
  • Microsoft gives away Visual Studio to students
    for free with its DreamSpark program 20

Android Mobile Handset Platform
  • Android is a software development platform for
    mobile handsets that is based on Linux
  • Developed by Google and Open Handset Alliance
    (OHA) for different handset manufacturers
  • The Alliance includes T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel,
    Google, Intel, Samsung, Wind River Systems, et
    al. 29
  • Its purpose is to build a fully free and open
    mobile handset platform to facilitate development
    of handsets, software, services 30
  • First Android-based handset is T-Mobile G1 31

Android Architecture
Android Features and Software
  • Features
  • 3D OpenGL ES 1.0
  • SQLite Database engine
  • WebKit Web browser
  • Dalvik Register-based VM similar to Java VM
  • FreeType Bitmap and vector font rendering
  • Connectivity Bluetooth, 802.11, GPS
  • Core Applications
  • Email client, SMS program, calendar, Google Maps
    (and Apps), browser, etc.
  • Written in Java
  • App Framework
  • Full access to same framework APIs
  • Architecture designed for component reuse
  • Runtime
  • Core C library
  • Multiple Dalvik VMs run in a process, rely on
    Linux kernel for process isolation 32

Android SDK
  • Android SDK provides required tools and APIs to
    develop apps on Android platform using Java
  • Android is licensed under the Apache open-source
  • The Android Development Tools (ADT) Eclipse
    plugin eases development
  • Download the Android SDK at http//
    /android/ and the Eclipse plugin at

Palm OS
  • Palm OS originally designed by Palm Computing
    Inc. for Palm handsets, sold to Japanese firm
    ACCESS 16
  • From Jan. 2004 Jun. 2005, there has been no
    development on Palm OS past v6.1 16
  • ACCESS and Palm are working on new versions of
    the OS that are Linux-based 16
  • ACCESS version is called the ACCESS Linux
  • Palms version will be called Palm OS should be
    available Q1 2009

Handset Networking
  • Handsets communicate with each other and with
    service providers via many networking
  • There are two classes of these technologies
  • Cellular telephony
  • Wireless networking
  • Most handsets support both, some also support
    physical connections such as USB

Cellular Telephony Basics (1)
  • There are many types of cellular services before
    delving into details, focus on basics (helps
    navigate the acronym soup)
  • Cellular telephony is a radio-based technology
    radio waves are electromagnetic waves that
    antennas propagate
  • Most signals are in the 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800
    MHz, and 1900 MHz frequency bands

Cell phones operate in this frequency range (note
the logarithmic scale)
Cellular Telephony Basics (2)
  • Digital signal processors (DSPs) are key to radio
    reception in handsets
  • They transform signals from one form to another,
  • Fourier transforms
  • Discrete cosine transform

Source 3
Cellular Telephony Basics (3)
  • Cells and base stations
  • Space is divided into cells, and each cell has a
    base station (tower and radio equipment)
  • Base stations coordinate themselves so mobile
    users can access the network
  • If you move from one cell to another, the first
    cell notices your signal strength decreasing, the
    second cell notices your signal strength
    increasing, and they coordinate handover so your
    handset switches to the latter cell

Cellular Telephony Basics (4)
  • Statistical multiplexing
  • Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)
  • A 30 kHz-wide and 6.7 ms-long band is split into
    3 time slots
  • Each conversation gets the radio 1/3 of the time
    voice data is converted to digital information
    and compressed to use less transmission space

Cellular Telephony Basics (5)
  • Statistical multiplexing contd.
  • Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA)
  • Analogous to TDMA, but each conversation uses a
    different frequency in the same band
  • Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) 38
  • Uses spread-spectrum technology and different
    pseudo-noise codes so multiple users share the
    same physical channel

Cellular Telephony
  • It is useful to think of cellular telephony in
    terms of generations 3337
  • 0G Briefcase-size mobile radio telephones
  • 1G Analog cellular telephony
  • 2G Digital cellular telephony
  • 3G High-speed digital cellular telephony
    (including video telephony)
  • 4G IP-based anytime, anywhere voice, data,
    and multimedia telephony at faster data rates
    than 3G (to be deployed in 20122015)
  • We will focus on 2G and 3G technologies

Cellular Telephony 2G
  • There are two main 2G technologies
  • Global System for Mobile communications (GSM),
    which uses TDMA 39
  • Interim Standard 95 (IS-95, aka cdmaOne), which
    uses CDMA 40
  • There are other TDMA networks such as PDC
    (Japan-only), iDEN (Nextel-only), and IS-136 (now
    converted to GSM)
  • We wont worry about these

GSM (1)
GSM network architecture includes the following
  • Mobile Stations (MSes) handsets
  • Each handset has a SIM card
  • Base Station Subsystems (BSSes) provide air
    link for MSes
  • A BSS consists of a Base Station Controller
    (BSC), which includes the TransCoder Unit (TCU)
    and the Base Transceiver System (BTS)
  • A BSC controls several BTSes, which is
    responsible for communication with the NSS and OSS
  • Network SubSystems (NSSes) connect calls
    between network users
  • Composed of several Mobile Switching Centers
    (MSC) in conjunction with location registers
    (Home Location Registers HLRs, Visitor Location
    Register VLRs) and authentication centers
  • Operation SubSystems (OSSes) provide network
    admins with remote network monitoring, mgmt.
  • Operations Maintenance Center (OMC) provides
    network with remote monitoring, maintenance as
    well as alarms, event logging

GSM (2)
  • GSM network architecture is as follows

GSM (3)
  • Short Message Service (SMS) 41
  • 1985 GSM standard that allows messages of at most
    160 chars. (incl. spaces) to be sent between
    handsets and other stations
  • Over 2.4 billion people use it multi-billion
  • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
  • GSM upgrade that provides IP-based packet data
    transmission up to 114 kbps
  • Users can simultaneously make calls and send
  • GPRS provides always on Internet access and the
    Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) whereby users
    can send rich text, audio, video messages to each
    other 42
  • Performance degrades as number of users increase
  • GPRS is an example of 2.5G telephony 2G service
    similar to 3G

GSM (4)
  • Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE) 43
  • GSM revision that provides 3 GPRS data rate
    (max. 236.8 kbps) considered 3G tech.
  • Deployed on GSM networks starting in 2003
  • EDGE Evolution increases bit rates to
    (theoretical) max. of 1 Mbps, decreases latency
    from 200 ms to 100 ms

IS-95, CDMA2000, and 3G
  • Qualcomm developed IS-95 in the 1990s as first
    CDMA-based mobile standard 40
  • Unlike GSM, which is open, Qualcomm owns patents
    on CDMA technology
  • CDMA2000, IS-95s hybrid 2.5G/3G successor, is
    supplanting it 44
  • The Telecommunications Industry Association owns
    the trademarks cdmaOne and CDMA2000 in the
  • There are two competing 3G technologies the
    Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS)
    and CDMA2000

  • The UMTS is an international standard designed to
    replace GSM (aka 3GSM) 45
  • UMTS is a 3G standard and is being developed into
    a 4G standard
  • Its air interface is Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA),
    which was developed by NTT DoCoMo for Japans 3G
    wireless network 46
  • W-CDMA has been deployed in Europe and Asia
  • In theory, High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
    protocols extend UTMS performance to 14.4 Mbps
    and 5.76 Mbps downlink and uplink, respectively
  • In practice, max speeds are 7.2 Mbps and 1.4
    5.8 Mbps, respectively (depending on carrier)

Other Handset Networks
  • Many handsets not only support cellular
    telephony, they support other networking
    technologies as well
  • Wireless
  • Bluetooth (100 m max, 10 m for handsets)
  • IEEE 802.11 (longer range)
  • Infrared Data Association (IrDA)
  • Wired
  • USB, etc.

Bluetooth (1)
  • Bluetooth is a technology specification for small
    form factor, low-cost, short-range wireless links
    between mobile handsets, Internet connectivity
  • Max range is 100 m in 2.4 GHz frequency band
    (handsets 10 m radios)
  • There is possible interference with IEEE 802.11b
    WLANs operating in this band
  • Max bandwidth is 3 Mbps for Bluetooth 2.x with
    Enhanced Data Rate

Bluetooth (2)
  • Link Types
  • Synchronous Connection-Oriented (SCO)
  • Useful for circuit-switched services, e.g.,
    voice, where low delay and high QoS are required
  • Offered channels are symmetric and synchronous
  • Asynchronous Connection-Less (ACL)
  • More efficient for data transfer, other async.
  • Link offers packet switching, transmission
    (Xmission) slots granted by polling access scheme
  • A piconet is a collection of up to 8 Bluetooth
    units where one is a master that controls
    Xmission, hopping scheme, others are slaves
  • Master tells slave, I want to send, and slave
  • Slaves can send on slots only when they agree
    with master
  • One connection can have several links of either
    type, but theres a 3 voice call limit within a

Bluetooth (3)
  • Piconets and scatternets
  • One device can be connected in two or more
    piconets, which is termed a scatternet
  • But a device can only be a master to one piconet
    at a time
  • In order for device to be part of scatternet,
    support for hold, park, or sniff mode is needed
  • Master/slave roles are not necessarily fixed and
    can be changed during connection
  • Master/slave switch needed in scatternet

Bluetooth (4)
  • Piconets and scatternets, contd.
  • a) Point-to-point connection between two devices
  • b) Point-to-multipoint connection between a
    master and three slaves
  • c) Scatternet consisting of three piconets

Bluetooth (5)
  • Bluetooth uses adaptive frequency hopping (AFQ)
    that detects other devices in the frequency
    spectrum and hops among 79 channels 1 MHz apart
    to reduce interference 48

Bluetooth (6)
  • Connections established via page messages if
    recipient address is unknown, masters inquiry
    message is needed (that gives access code, asks
    for slaves Bluetooth address and system clock)
  • Units are in standby mode before connections are
  • Page message is sent on 16 frequencies 128 times
    if no response, message is sent on 16 different
    frequencies 128 times
  • Max. connection time is 2.56 seconds

Bluetooth (7)
  • Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has
    defined numerous usage models for the technology
    that describe primary Bluetooth applications
    intended devices
  • Profiles define the protocols protocol features
    that support a usage model
  • See 49 for more information

IEEE 802.11 Networks
  • The IEEE 802.11 standards specify how electronic
    devices communicate with each other in wireless
    fidelity (Wi-Fi) networks
  • Many handsets can communicate with each other
    this way
  • There are many 802.11 standards 53 well only
    look at 802.11b, 802.11g, and WiMax here
  • Other 802.11 standards provide greater security,
    which well discuss later

IEEE 802.11 WiMax Specs.
  • 802.11b (1999) 51, 53
  • Operates in the 2.4 GHz frequency band
  • Provides max 11 Mbps data rate
  • 38 m indoor range
  • 802.11g (2003) 51, 53
  • Operates in either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency
  • Provides max 54 Mbps data rate
  • 38 m indoor range
  • WiMax (802.16) 52
  • Operates in 2.3 GHz, 2.5 2.6 GHz frequency
  • Provides max 40 Mbps data rate now, 300 Mbps
  • 3 km cell range

  • The Infrared Data Association (IrDA) provides
    protocols to transfer data between handsets,
    other devices using infrared light 54
  • Similar in principle to a remote control
  • Data rate is 16 Mbps now, 300 500 Mbps later
  • Range is 1 m, communicating devices must have a
    line of sight
  • Deployed in over 500 million devices

Wired Networks USB
  • The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a ubiquitous
    standard for transferring data between computers
    (including handsets!) 55
  • By definition, data is transferred one bit at a
  • USB 1.1 (1998) max 1.5 Mbps (low-speed), 12 Mbps
  • USB 2.0 (2000) max 480 Mbps
  • USB 3.0 (to be released in 2009 2010) max 5

Handset Applications
  • Many handset applications mirror those of
    computers, e.g., managing ones schedule, Web
    browsing, etc.
  • But handsets mobility is opening up new markets
  • Global mobile gaming market value expected to
    reach 2.6 billion (3.27 billion) in 2012
  • Global mobile advertising market value expected
    to reach 1.77 billion (2.23 billion) in 2012
  • Also, handsets make mobile and location-based
    services possible, which well discuss next

Mobile Location-based Services
  • Carnegie Mellon Universitys (CMUs) Human
    Computer Interaction Institute has developed
    several such services that well examine
  • Mobile social computing
  • inTouch Coordination for families, small groups
  • Whisper Mobile Coordinating groups for social
  • Large-scale mobile collaboration
  • Hitchhiking estimating places busyness
  • Mobile data
  • GurunGo Linking desktop, mobile devices
  • Usable privacy and security
  • Contextual instant messaging
  • People Finder
  • CMUs Grey resource-control system
  • Memory support
  • Memory karaoke

Mobile Social Computing
  • Mobile social computing
  • inTouch Coordination for families, small groups
  • Whisper Mobile Coordinating groups for social
  • Large-scale mobile collaboration
  • Hitchhiking estimating places busyness
  • Mobile data
  • GurunGo Linking desktop, mobile devices
  • Usable privacy and security
  • Contextual instant messaging
  • CMUs Grey resource-control system

inTouch (1)
The inTouch service helps coordinate with others
while mobile
  • Target Users
  • Small to medium groups of people
  • Fluid demanding schedule
  • Many responsibilities
  • Examples
  • Dual-career families
  • Work groups
  • Ad hoc (e.g., conferences)

inTouch (2)
  • inTouch use case Suppose Vanessa is running
    late picking up her son Daniel. She can send him
    a text message telling him that shell be 15
    minutes late.

Whisper Mobile (1)
  • Motivation Easily find, share, and coordinate
    friends for social events

Whisper Mobile (2)
  • Creating an event is straightforward
  • Minimal text input
  • Use location, audio, camera to do so
  • Then link it with inTouch

Large-Scale Mobile Collaboration
  • Mobile social computing
  • inTouch Coordination for families, small groups
  • Whisper Mobile Coordinating groups for social
  • Large-scale mobile collaboration
  • Hitchhiking estimating places busyness
  • Mobile data
  • GurunGo Linking desktop, mobile devices
  • Usable privacy and security
  • Contextual instant messaging
  • CMUs Grey resource-control system

Hitchhiking (1)
  • Many location-based services focus on where you
  • Hitchhiking looks at places busyness, e.g.,
  • Is the café busy?
  • How long are the airport lines?
  • Approach estimate number of people in a place
    by counting number of handsets there and upload
    number and location to servers (anonymized for
  • Locations can be viewed on a map, e.g.,
    Microsofts SensorMap

Hitchhiking (2)
Mobile Data
  • Mobile social computing
  • inTouch Coordination for families, small groups
  • Whisper Mobile Coordinating groups for social
  • Large-scale mobile collaboration
  • Hitchhiking estimating places busyness
  • Mobile data
  • GurunGo Linking desktop, mobile devices
  • Usable privacy and security
  • Contextual instant messaging
  • CMUs Grey resource-control system

GurunGo (1)
  • Goal Easily access useful info while mobile
  • Motivations
  • People print out online maps rather than copy
    them to handset (easier, small mobile form
  • People browse the Web differently on desktops and
  • GurunGo allows people to explicitly copy info to
    handsets, implicitly copy maps to handsets and
    generate speech-based directions

GurunGo (2)
  • Example of speech-based directions

Usable Privacy and Security
  • Mobile social computing
  • inTouch Coordination for families, small groups
  • Whisper Mobile Coordinating groups for social
  • Large-scale mobile collaboration
  • Hitchhiking estimating places busyness
  • Mobile data
  • GurunGo Linking desktop, mobile devices
  • Usable privacy and security
  • Contextual instant messaging
  • CMUs Grey resource-control system

Contextual Instant Messaging
  • CMU developed a custom AIM client, bot that
    people can query howbusyis screenname
  • Robot respects user-specified privacy settings
  • Users can create groups, put screen names in them
  • Users can specify what each group can see
  • System generates audit logs for security

Grey Resource Control
  • CMU developed a distributed handset-based
    resource control system
  • Resources include office doors, electronic files,
  • Flexible, end user-specified policies
  • Proactive Manually create policy before request,
    e.g., Alice can always enter my office
  • Reactive Generates policy based on request,
    e.g., Can I enter your office?
  • CMU connected Grey with Bluetooth-enabled office
  • There were security and usability issues with the

A Large-Scale Mobile App
  • Gawker Stalker people spotting celebrities in
    New York City

Handset Security Issues (1)
  • People store a wealth of information on their
    handsets and dont think about securing them!
  • Naturally, this makes handsets targets for
    miscreants whether theyre script kiddies or
    Mafia cybercriminals due to whats stored on
  • Incoming, outgoing, missed calls
  • SMS (text) and MMS messages
  • E-mail
  • Instant-messaging (IM) logs
  • Multimedia, e.g., pictures, music, videos
  • Personal calendars
  • Address books
  • Clearly, handset security is a vitally important

Handset Malware History (1)
  • Hackers are already attacking handsets
  • Most well-known case a 17-year-old broke into
    Paris Hiltons Sidekick handset 58
  • Less well-known worms, viruses, and Trojans have
    targeted handsets since 2004
  • 2004 59
  • Cabir worm released by 29A, targets Symbian
    phones via Bluetooth
  • Duts virus, released by same group, targets
    Windows Mobile phones
  • Brador Trojan released by same group, opens
    backdoor on Windows Mobile 63

Handset Malware History (2)
  • 2005 60
  • CommWarrior worm released replicates via
    Bluetooth, MMS messages to all contacts in
    address book
  • Doomboot Trojan released claims to be Doom 2
    video game, installs Cabir and CommWarrior
  • 2006 5960
  • RedBrowser Trojan released claims to be a Java
    program, secretly sends premium-rate SMS messages
    to a Russian phone number
  • FlexiSpy spyware released sends log of phone
    calls, copies of SMS/MMS messages to Internet
    server for third party to view
  • 2008 61
  • First iPhone Trojan released
  • Of course, other mobile malware has been
    released some malware completely disables the
  • There is also the possibility of mobile botnets

Key Handset Security Problems
  • At this point, mobile device capability is far
    ahead of security. Prof. Patrick Traynor,
    Georgia Tech (emphasis added) 62
  • Handset information can be stolen 63
  • Transient information Enhanced 911 can provide
    user location information
  • Static information BlueSnarfing attacks
    (connection without owners knowledge), cracking
    Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi
    Protected Access (WPA) 64
  • Theft of service attacks, e.g., premium-rate
    calls/SMS messages 63
  • Denial-of-service attacks 63
  • Flooding attacks overload the handset radio with
  • Power-draining attacks attempt to drain the
  • Botnets and DoS attacks against networks are
    likely in the future 62
  • Cybercriminals make 10 as much as security
    researchers! 69

Mitigation Strategies
  • Handset manufacturers, OS software vendors, and
    researchers have worked to counter threats
  • Symbian OS requires apps to be cryptographically
    signed in order for them to run without user
  • Some handset manufacturers have joined the
    Trusted Computing Group (TCG) and added hardware
    to thwart malware tampering with the device 60
  • The iPhone runs each application in a sandbox
    to prevent malware from running on the device
  • Heterogeneous handset OSes make massive malware
    outbreaks difficult
  • Vendors like McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro
    sell security software for handsets F-Secure has
    bundled its software with Hong Kong provider
    CSLs handsets 65
  • Researchers have worked on modeling malware
    propagation on networks, detecting power-draining
    attacks, etc. 6667

The Challenges Ahead
  • Because the mobile communications field is
    evolving so quickly, it presents a unique
    opportunity to design security properlyan
    opportunity we missed with the PC. Prof.
    Patrick Traynor 62
  • Since most people buy a new handset every 2
    years, its vital to ensure the security of
    handset hardware, OSes, applications, and
    networks while maintaining usability 62
  • One suggested approach is to give handsets a
    hard power-off switch so they dont have power
    when turned off 63
  • Academic research will play a key role in this,
    as will user education to counter social
  • Given the sensitivity of information stored on
    handsets, cybercriminals may well find effective
    ways to use them to continue their nefarious
    acts, e.g., bot herding, data theft, etc., even
    with different operating systems, power
    constraints, and carriers
  • Though we may not hear news of handset attacks as
    often as those against (Windows) PCs, we cannot
    fall into a false sense of security

  • Thank you!

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