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Print 5 comment(s) - last by Denville.. on Jul 17 at 8:20 AM

All military personnel will eventually be forced to install the smartphone application

The South Korean Defense Ministry announced this week that it is now ordering military staff to install a special smartphone application to restrict key functions of the device; namely the onboard camera. By disabling the camera, the South Korean military hopes to put a stop to leaks of confidential information.

The South Korean Defense Ministry announced on Monday that its entire staff of 1,500 people is no longer allowed to bring smartphones to the office without having the app installed on the device.
 
The new rule resulted in long lines at the gates of the ministry because approximately 20% of the workers had failed to install the application. Defense News also reports that some Defense Ministry staff have refused to install the application out of fear of reduced privacy. In addition to restricting use of the camera, the app also prevents audio recording and stops outside users from being able to hack the devices.


The app currently only works within the ministry compound, but officials have said that all South Korean soldiers will be ordered to install the app in the near future.

Ministry employees using Android devices can receive and make phone calls as well as receive and send text messages. However, iPhone users are only able to receive calls and text messages.

Source: Defense News



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Not advisable.
By Flunk on 7/16/2013 12:20:47 PM , Rating: 3
I can understand why they wouldn't want cameras on their bases but using software to disable them is a really weak response. It's pretty easy to either fake or modify an app. Realistically they really should physically remove the camera units from the devices, otherwise there is little point.




RE: Not advisable.
By quiksilvr on 7/16/2013 1:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. They can just ask cell phone manufacturers to make a custom phone for enterprise (encrypted by default, no camera, locked down os, rugged, water and dustproof, no apks allowed without valid certs for signing and encrypting, etc)


RE: Not advisable.
By Motoman on 7/16/2013 2:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding. This is Korea. What are the chances that Samsung *wouldn't* jump at the chance to create a bespoke phone for the country's military?

And then just require that all military personnel have that phone, and only that phone.


RE: Not advisable.
By drycrust3 on 7/16/2013 3:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, they could even provide the phone free and say it is a government phone, that it is a requirement of their job that they use it while at work, and it needs to be handed in when leaving.
They could even provide highly secure text messaging and other such like apps on it.
Really, I do think trust is a serious issue here, and that if you can't trust your staff to use discretion about what they photograph and film, then you have a much bigger problem because they are handling material that could be of importance to North Korea, whom they are technically still at war with.
I do think it will only be a matter of time before some emergency pops up where no one could film or photograph it, or someone did with a non-authorised phone, and this rule will change.


RE: Not advisable.
By Denville on 7/17/2013 8:20:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Agreed. They can just ask cell phone manufacturers to make a custom phone for enterprise (encrypted by default, no camera, locked down os, rugged, water and dustproof, no apks allowed without valid certs for signing and encrypting, etc)


There's a cheaper way around it. Here are the instructions

1. Pop back cover
2. break camera part
3. Put back cover back

If intel can disable parts of the chip with laser cutting then I'm sure getting rid of a camera is even easier.


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