November 11, 2011
In a breakthrough that could aid spies, keepers of medical records, and parents who want to prevent their kids from “sexting,” a team of Virginia Tech researchers has created software to remotely put smart phones under lockdown. The phones are given permission to access sensitive data while in a particular room, but when the devices leave the room, the data is completely wiped.
Jules White demonstrates how, using a laptop, he can put smart phones under lockdown with new software that "puts physical boundaries around information in cyberspace."
“This level of complexity and security, nobody else has,” says Jules White, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “There are commercial products that do limited versions of these things, but nothing that allows for automating wiping and complete control of settings and apps on smart phones and tablets.”
The software also enables central control of phone features such as preventing a smart phone’s camera or email from working.
Prof. White and his team, in research underwritten by Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, modified Google’s Android operating system to create the security features.
The team recently demonstrated the software for an inside-the-beltway group, Virginia Tech Intelligence and Defense Executive Alumni, or VT IDEA, composed of Virginia Tech alums who are interested in research that may benefit intelligence and military agencies.
This story can be found on the Virginia Tech News website.