Networks, manufacturers to boost device security following OMTP recommendations


Mobile network organisation Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) has announced recommendations to set standards for hardware security in mobile devices for up to the next 10 years.

The OMTP recommendations are published in the new document “Advanced Trusted Environment”, which discusses security recommendations, that if implemented, will enable a device to provide better protection for new mobile payment solutions and services, such as pay-per view TV and ensure that security in mobile phones remains one step ahead of hackers. Also included are mechanisms to enhance current security processes in technical areas.

OMTP managing director Tim Raby said: “The new recommendations form the secure backbone for forthcoming mobile applications, particularly those that focus on handling sensitive data.

“With m-commerce predicted to explode, operators need to ensure that their subscribers are ‘invisibly’ protected against potential security threats, so that their mobile transactions can be dealt with in confidence.”

The recommendations have been welcomed by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who said: “I am pleased that the mobile industry continues to show its commitment to enhance the security of mobile phones, and in particular, that a key part of the OMTP requirements is increasing hardware security so that hackers cannot profit from stolen phones by changing their unique identity.”

National Mobile Phone Crime Unit head, Detective Superintendent Mick McNally, said: “Technology is increasing at an incredible rate. We need to ensure that the incentives for people to steal mobile phones are taken away.

“This is a continual process and the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit will continue to work closely with the industry on ensuring that future technologies such as m-commerce are secured against future threats.”

Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum chairman Jack Wraith said: “I am encouraged by the work of the OMTP and its support to ensure that customers using mobile devices can continue to do so in a secure and safe environment.”

Director of Vodafone Group Research Professor Michael Walker said: “We are pleased to back the OMTP in rolling out greater levels of security across the industry. We have actively supported the new OMTP recommendations for hardening mobile phones against potential hacking threats and for securing new mobile services such as mobile TV and payments, and look forward to the widespread adoption of these recommendations in mobile devices.”

Motorola chairman Sir David Brown said: “We see it as essential that manufacturers work with industry organisations such as OMTP to ensure security standards keep pace with the evolving functionality of our devices.

“As operator and consumer take up of m-commerce and multimedia initiatives increase there will be an ever greater need for protection of our customers’ data and services.”