DARPA To Fortify Military's Phones And Tablets


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Security in the military is getting harder and harder to maintain in this day and age with the advent of smart phones and tablets that can go just about anywhere and do just about anything. With the Chinese cyber security threat becoming more prevalent every day, the need for a sandbox style operating system for the soldiers in the field is needed now more than ever.

So now the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has assigned Invincea to fortify Android based phones and tablets so they are safe for soldiers to use without the fear that the innocent apps that use GPS data to find out where they are (Facebook, Yelp) will give away their position. The hope is that Invincea will be able to create virtual environment in which applications can run in a "sandbox" or virtual environment.

“By separating untrusted apps and content we are preventing the compromise of the operating system,” said Anup Ghosh, a professor at George Mason University and the founder of Invincea. "Part of the problem is that soldiers often want to use their mobile devices to communicate with families back home, and to entertain themselves when possible."

Invincea's next project is to make sure that malware does not get in through an application, and that sensitive data does not get out. "The risks can be unexpected. Soldiers playing games on an Army base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, can easily and unknowingly transmit the names of their friends. A piece of malware can penetrate the operating system and suck out location information."

This does seem like pretty good technology which begs me to wonder, why doesn't the military already have tech that can detect cell phone signals that come from phones? Like a metal detector. Can't hide out in a cave with a cell signal now can you?