Here at Trustlook, our team is small and close. We love working together and even more, we love to have fun together. Every Friday on the Trustlook blog, we will have features on our passionate team members. Our special summer edition will feature our newest interns! Each intern brings something special to the table and enhances the Trustlook experience.
Jin, First Year Masters Student at NYU for Computer Science and Engineering Intern
- What got you interested in mobile security?
I began programming as an undergrad while studying abroad. It is my true calling because the intricacies of coding are fascinating to me. Security is a big issue within the tech industry and it was a natural progression for me. There is a readily available app that I discovered in my undergrad years that enables criminal activity via an open source Wi-Fi. Through a public Wi-Fi network a hacker is able to obtain information such as passwords and credit card information remotely. The app is based in the West, where the market for innovative technology is thriving every day. This worries me as there are so many benefits and users with possible unknown vulnerabilities, but I hope to provide key protection and security with different developments and stopgaps.
- What do you feel is the biggest threat to consumers?
While pursuing my undergrad, I noticed the frequency in which people will turn to third party apps. Often times in rural areas or countries with various censorship laws, popular apps can be hard to obtain. People will begin to turn to underground app markets or more illicit ways to obtain the hottest new game. Through different methods, many cybercriminals are able to personally email consumers, posing as a legitimate company or LLC. These personalized emails will have customized bait and switches in order to lure potential victims to click on links that create an open portal to a personal computer or phone. The malicious APKs are very difficult to detect within any operating system, even with a trustworthy scan, because malware are programmed to evade detection.
Wi-Fi security is also a looming threat to enterprises and consumers. Companies and users can be hacked by criminals over Wi-Fi and all their data can be drained in an instant. All your apps can be from secure and reliable sources but over Wi-Fi, anything can go. Two types of Wi-Fi crime can happen. One type is a form of public Wi-Fi, such as a public connection provided by a library or business. This open public connection serves as the perfect portal into another’s device because it is difficult to detect any malicious viruses on these open connections and there seems to be generally very little monitoring on these open air connections as well. The second way to use a Wi-Fi connection is a fake Wi-Fi connection. A hacker will choose to name an open Wi-Fi network something that feels secure or trustworthy, such as setting up an open connection near a city building. By naming that Wi-Fi after a public building or business, many consumers will believe it is operating as a safe network for the public when it’s truly a hacker hoping to hit pay dirt.
- What is your Summer Project at Trustlook?
I am currently building a static fly engine that will hopefully use machine learning to identify malware. First it must be trained onto our Trustlook servers and then it will be implemented onto our app for our users. It should eventually be able to detect malware and viruses offline and save our users cellular data usage on their personal devices.
- Do you know anyone whow has had their data or identity stolen?
Yes, of course. Even with just legal businesses and companies. Private information such as location and billing information are accessible in many different apps and personal device platforms. Many different apps are locking onto this information because it helps their business. Tracking GPS and location for a user helps to enable better ads or commerce, such as having a promotion pop up as one drives by a coffee shop or receiving an email containing a coupon for a store that one regularly drives by. Encryption is also very common on phones and computers, but it’s very easy to break. Some websites just show passwords and private information as plain text and not as encryption. There are many small details within tech security that can prove to be bigger problems in the future.
- What next steps do you hope to take in your career?
Mobile security is my big passion so I hope to pursue that after I complete my master’s. I enjoy the company mission at Trustlook because the goals here are to help mobile users. The best offense is a good defense. Building apps that aid in ransomware detection is the best kind of defense for mobile security as ransomware can prove to be costly. Wi-Fi protection is also something that we can provide a good defense for and hopefully educating consumers on nternet security can help raise awareness on what is safe and what is dangerous.