PhotoMore data is now being transmitted using mobile devices, but consumers, while diligent about keeping their PC's updated with the latest spyware, leave their mobile phones unprotected.

Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University CyLab have developed a new smartphone app that establishes a more secure basis for Internet communications. The app is called SafeSlinger.

"With SafeSlinger, users can gain control over their exchanged information through end-to-end encryption, preventing intermediate servers or service providers from reading their messages or other sensitive stored data in their smartphones," said Adrian Perrig, technical director of Carnegie Mellon CyLab and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at CMU.

Perrig along with Michael W. Farb, a CyLab research programmer, Jon McCune, a CyLab research systems scientist, and CMU students Gurtej Singh Chandok and Manish Burman developed SafeSlinger to help mobile phone users safely and privately retrieve information from trusted sources.

Who's who

SafeSlinger is designed to provide the user with the confidence that the person you are communicating with is actually the person they have represented themselves to be. Perhaps the most impressive feature is that SafeSlinger provides secure communications and file transfer even if the servers involved are tainted with malware.

As more and more consumers access the Internet from an ever-expanding pool of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, Web-based threats continue to become more frequent and increasingly sophisticated.

"We increasingly lose control over our data,” said Perrig. “But SafeSlinger's user-centric security design includes an advanced protocol, which incorporates elements of several cryptographic schemes and factors in the prevention of numerous types of attacks."

SafeSlinger is available for free download.

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