Amid growing worries over financial information theft and the leakage of personal information using smartphones, a method to produce a security chip that can foil smartphone hacking was developed.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) announced on May 22 that it successfully developed a technique to make MeeMo, a security chip for smartphones that can prevent personal information stored on the phone from being leaked, including accredited certificates and passwords.
The newly-developed chip provides password protection, allows secure information storage and electronic signatures, and verifies the integrity of the terminal system. Hence, it can stop critical information leaks on a smartphone through hacking, phishing, or pharming.
The 5x5mm chip is based on the Mobile Trusted Module (MTM), a hardware-based trust anchor for mobile phones and devices. ETRI explains that the installation of the chip in the smartphone can guarantee smartphone security, since important information is stored inside the module.
When a hacker penetrates a smartphone with mobile malware, the chip compares falsified information with the original, helped by stored information like accredited certificates and passwords. By doing so, it can detect the penetration of the hacker, and notifies the user of the incident when it occurs. In other words, the chip can prevent a smartphone platform from being changed through hacking, and thus detect and block the execution of mobile malware beforehand.
If someone tries to hack a smartphone equipped with the chip, the owner and mobile carrier of the phone are informed about the hacking attempt via warning messages. When a smartphone is lost or stolen, any change in the condition of the phone or damage can be identified.
Currently, existing security chips inside the smartphone cannot confirm whether or not someone tried to hack into a certain smartphone.
The new chip was designed for Android phones, and ETRI already transferred related technologies to two companies that offer security services for smartphones. It has also filed 30 patents at home and abroad.