July 31, 2012

DEF CON 20: Hacking in Vegas and Lookout’s Highlights

Two days after the end of DEF CON 20 in Las Vegas, the digital smoke has cleared and the Lookout team is still processing everything we experienced and learned at “the con.” The Ninja Tel phone was a definite highlight. Stay tuned for more personal accounts from the team on what we enjoyed most, and in the meantime, here are some of our general impressions:

The Vibe
From the outside, the Rio just looks like an average Las Vegas casino. We entered the building and made our way through rows of slot machines and roulette tables until suddenly, we found what we were looking for: the largest hacking conference in the world!

The Badge
The DEF CON badge is an electronic, hackable puzzle, equipped with LEDs, a multiprocessor and batteries. Some of the Lookout engineers are still trying to crack this. We’ll post it on our engineering blog, hackers.lookout.com when we do.

Category:   Android  •  Lookout News  •  malware
July 30, 2012

DEF CON 20: The Ninja Tel Network and Smartphone Revealed

DEF CON 20 ended yesterday, and one of the most exciting parts of the weekend was the big reveal of the 650 special Ninja badges. The badges were given to the lucky attendees of the Ninja Networks’ Saturday night Ninja Party, and they turned out to be smartphones running on the newly minted Ninja Tel, a private cell phone network that ran out of a van with a ten-foot antenna parked inside the convention center.

Parked inside DEF CON, the Ninja Tel van

Lookout CEO John Hering, CTO Kevin Mahaffey and the Lookout engineering team helped create a customized, secure version of the Android operating system for the 650 HTC One V handsets. The team worked with Ninja Networks on the weekends leading up to DEF CON 20. Lookout engineer Matt Michihara told me, “It was really fun meeting all the Ninjas and working with them, but I really can’t reveal anything about the Ninjas’ secret lair, so stop asking me to get you in.”

Category:   Android  •  Lookout News
July 30, 2012

Help the Lookout Blog for a Chance to Win $50 Amazon Gift Card

Are you a diehard Lookout Blog reader? Or just visiting for the first time? We’d love your feedback so we can make the Lookout Blog even more amazing for you. Take this survey before August 13th and you could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards.

For real, take the 4 minute Lookout Blog survey!

The survey has ten short questions and will take you less than five minutes to fill out. Thanks in advance for taking the survey.

Category:   Lookout News
July 26, 2012

Black Hat 2012: Dex Education

Black Hat 2012 logoIt’s late July, which means I’m in Las Vegas this week for Black Hat and DEF CON conferences. Thousands of security leaders (and hackers) are gathered to share (and poke holes in) the latest security research.

If you’re at Black Hat today, come by my 2:15 talk “Dex Education: Practicing Safe Dex.”

Category:   Android  •  malware  •  Security
July 25, 2012

Olympics Gone Mobile: How to Make the Most of London 2012

Five billion people, or 5 out of 7 globally, will be watching the Olympics this year, at stadiums, bars, on tv or on their mobile devices. There will be an unprecedented amount of people tracking and watching live video streams of the Games, thanks in part to all the mobile and wireless broadband devices that exist today. We’ve certainly come a long way from the limited live audience viewing the first Olympics in 776 B.C. Whether it’s through watching, reading or socializing, we want to experience these Olympic Games. And now more than ever, mobile devices make it possible for us all to participate. So grab your smartphone or tablet, because here’s what you need to know:

Download These Gold Medal Apps
The Olympics come around once every four years. Make the most of them with these handy apps.

Category:   Android  •  iPhone  •  Lookout News  •  Twitter
July 24, 2012

DEF CON 20: How to Be a N00b at the World’s Largest Hacker Conference

Editor’s note: This guest post is by Margie Mader-Clark, Lookout’s beloved VP of HR. This is her retelling of her experience at DEF CON 19 last year. This week is big for security conferences in Las Vegas; Black Hat started last Saturday, and DEF CON 20 starts Thursday.

Last year, I went to DEF CON, the world’s largest hacker conference, intending to steep myself in the hacker culture of my new company, Lookout. As the VP of HR, it seemed important to really get into the minds and hearts of our potential new hires and really live the hacker lifeDEF CON logo for some period of time. So I was on my way to Vegas, and a world beyond my own.

Category:   Lookout News  •  Security
July 18, 2012

Quick Guide: How to Install Lookout

It’s very simple to download and set up Lookout for Android. If you’re a loyal Lookout user, consider yourself an expert in this area, so please share this with some less-informed friends.

If you’re a new user or have thought about downloading Lookout, let us show you just how easy it is to get started for free!

Category:   Android  •  Lookout News
July 16, 2012

40 Developers Learn to Reverse Android Apps

What does it take to reverse Android apps? More than 40 Bay Area app developers and security professionals now know Lookout’s answer. Last week, the Lookout security team and I led a hands-on workshop at Lookout HQ on reversing Android apps for the San Francisco Mobile Security and Privacy Meetup.

“Reversing” (or reverse engineering) an Android app involves taking the app apart to figure out how its code works. Reversing is an important part of determining whether an app has appropriate privacy and security controls, and whether it’s malware. I know some app developers may think of reversing as a bit of voodoo black magic, so we were excited to share Lookout’s approach and the basic goals, techniques and tools involved.

After a quick tutorial, we challenged the attendees to figure out a secret code embedded in a sample app. The two winners were rewarded with passes to this year’s DEFCON 20 Ninja Party.

Check out some pictures of all the fun we had:

Everyone came with their laptops, ready to reverse some Android apps!

Category:   Android  •  Privacy  •  Security
July 12, 2012

The Highly Anticipated Samsung Galaxy S3 Is Finally Here!

Today, the Samsung Galaxy S III is available from all four major U.S. carriers (Verizon, Sprint, ATT and T-Mobile). Powered by Android 4.0 (nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich), “GS3” is poised to give Apple’s iPhone a run for its money. While both smartphones share many of the same basic features and the same basic sensors, GS3 has a larger screen size, more wireless connectivity options, and more carriers to choose from. It’s also a big deal that Galaxy S3 is the first Android smartphone to have same brand name across all carriers (as opposed to Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch).

It seems like every new handset wants to be the “iPhone killer,” but the GS3 really could have a fighting chance. Samsung has rounded the corner in its race against Apple—literally. Every line of the GS3, except for its scratch-proof Gorilla Glass coating, is curved or tapered. It also wins the “you can never be too rich or too thin” contest. Remember when the iPhone 4 won bragging rights over Galaxy S II as the thinnest smartphone on the market? Well, the GS3 is just .34 inches thick (the iPhone is .36 inches thick). It’s also lighter at just over 4 ounces while boasting an impressive 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display. That’s 37% bigger than the iPhone’s 3.5 inch display.

Here’s some of the features we’re excited to try:

Category:   Android  •  Apple  •  iPhone  •  Uncategorized
July 12, 2012

Mobile Privacy Comes to the White House

Privacy is a big deal on the desktop. Need evidence? Google’s expected settlement for sidestepping user privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser. Now the heat is on for privacy in mobile, too. The first meeting in President Obama’s “Privacy Bill of Rights Meetings” series kicks off this week, and the topic is mobile privacy and user transparency.

According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the taskforce behind the meeting, mobile privacy is a big deal and these devices “pose direct privacy challenges,” including disclosing privacy information on a small display.

At Lookout, we’re glad to see D.C. pay attention to mobile privacy. Protecting individuals and their mobiles devices requires more than malware and missing device protection, it also requires strong privacy controls.

Category:   Lookout News  •  Privacy