Here at Zimperium, we spend all day, every day, obsessing about mobile security and how we can provide a secure mobile experience. That’s not just because we are driven. It’s because the threats to mobile devices are both immediate and real. Every time someone uses an iPhone or an Android device to make a call, send or receive a text, check email, snap a photo, play a game, or basically run any app at all, that person incurs risk that the transaction isn’t completely secure.
So we weren’t surprised when recent headlines began to highlight the threat that cybercrime poses to elections. Like everyone else, politicians connect constantly through their smartphones. They do things such as contact their campaign headquarters and interact with constituents on social media. And, like everyone else, politicians are at risk every time they use their mobile devices.
The difference is that when a hacker compromises a politician’s phone, the fallout can potentially change the course of an election–or worse. Picture the chaos if someone hacked a high-profile politician’s smartphone, then used it as a surveillance device to spy on private conversations, their whereabouts, or send Tweets and email from the politician’s own accounts.
How serious is the threat?
It’s serious enough that a leading telco, European giant Deutsche Telekom, announced that they intend to do something about it. They will start with the upcoming elections in Germany for the Bundestag (which has roughly the same role in the German government that equivalent that the US House of Representatives has in the US government).
Dirk Backofen Head of Telekom Security, is passionate about securing his countries political process and states:
“With our offer, we want to provide the parties with a managed solution to make it impossible for hackers to manipulate mobile devices. We are thus taking social responsibility, because our democracy is based on confidence in the safety and security of our elections.”
Specifically, Deutsche Telekom is offering ironclad protection—for free—to German political parties for their smartphones. The protection is in the form of Mobile Protect Pro, a security app for iOS and Android devices. Once installed, the app provides real-time detection against known AND unknown threats. This includes treats to OS and device vulnerabilities, network attacks, and abusive apps that contain adware or malware, or cause privacy issues. If a threat arises–any threat at all–the app deploys countermeasures to stop the threat and report back to the security team managing the system.
z9 delivers ironclad protection.
When we say ironclad protection, we mean it. The Mobile Protect Pro app that Deutsche Telekom is offering to German political parties during their election (and by the way, the CDU, the party currently led by Angela Merkel, is already using the app) leverages our own threat detection engine, z9.
z9 is Zimperium’s threat defense engine for mobile security. It contains proprietary machine-learning algorithms that distinguish normal from malicious behavior on Android, iOS and Windows devices. Unlike cloud-based mobile security solutions that employ app sandboxing or tunnel traffic through the cloud, the z9 engine sits directly on mobile devices.
This unique approach allows z9 to detect known and unknown (“zero-day”) threats even when users are not connected to a network or when a hacker attempts a man-in-the-middle attack that compromises traffic.
The partnership with Deutsche Telekom enables us to provide a secure mobile experience for their customers and now political officials. We have a unique and astoundingly powerful solution to protect mobile devices from being used to coerce or influence Germany’s elections and we look forward to protecting mobile users from cyber crime and espionage.
We will protect more than a million mobile devices in the campaign.
This is an outstanding opportunity for Zimperium to help protect more than a million mobile devices used by people engaged in a key political campaign at a critical time in history. We create technology that’s up to the challenge, and we are seeing it in use at Deutsche Telekom, our other Telco partners and enterprise customers.
If you would like to provide the same type of protection for your political officials, executives and employees, please contact us for more details. Days like these make our obsession with mobile security worth it.