Archive for category Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps: Silent Circle

Check this out. Silent Circle is a subscription service that promises to deliver a secure and encrypted communications platform. Phil Zimmermann put this concept together and he is marketing this thing for security professionals with the help of some former Navy SEALs.

What I like about this service is that companies could actually set up accounts with contractors/employees using Silent Circle, and know that the communications between all parties will be secure. From the phone calls to text messages to emails–the entire communications system will be secure and extremely difficult to hack.

Families can also be a part of a separate Silent Circle account between the contractor and their loved ones/friends. This is great because today’s enemy’s and hostile governments all have a desire to hack into the accounts of folks involved with security operations throughout the world. They monitor everything from Facebook and Twitter accounts, to emails/phone calls etc. You have to assume all of that is happening, and to have any tools to help in the battle to secure your communications is a good thing. -Matt

 

 

Silent Circle

When a Silent Circle subscriber makes a phone call, sends a text or video chats with another Silent Circle member, that transmission is secured and encrypted end-to-end from the iPhone, Android, iPad or computer on our crystal-clear secure network. Silent Mail is an elegant and encrypted email solution, however, it utilizes server side key encryption not peer-to-peer. Our Silent Phone, Silent Mail and Silent Text products also allow you to call or send/receive emails to anyone in the world – any phone number – any email address, even to those not in our secure Circle (subscribers). Our products download from the Apple App Store, Android Play Store and from our website – simple, fast, secure.
Silent Network
We Designed It, We Custom-Built It & We Own The Network
Silent Circle Network provides encrypted communication tools that leverage cutting edge and simple to use apps and software. Here’s how we do it:
• Open Source Peer-Reviewed Encryption – Our founders are the inventors of the world’s most trusted encryption protocols: PGP, ZRTP, SCimp
• Multimillion dollar custom-built high definition network
• Geographic server redundancy – Servers located in Montreal and Toronto built with scalability for continued geographic expansion (Our Switzerland Network will come online Fall 2012)
• 100% dedicated network – No sharing
• Custom-built servers, PBXs and hardware – Ensuring security integrated through design
• E-Commerce, customer service, analytics and network monitoring software all custom built and designed to ensure security
• Device-to-Device Encryption – True peer-to-peer key negotiation with every communication session. Keys are destroyed at the end of every call eliminating the possibility of retroactive compromise
• Interactive Voice Authentication – Visual and vocal encryption verification eliminating the possibility of MiTM (man in the middle) attacks and a short authentication string (SAS)
• Peer Reviewed Encryption and Hashing Algorithms
- Elliptic Curve Cryptography (P-384)
- Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256)
- Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA-256)

Company website here.

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Phil Zimmermann’s Silent Circle Builds A Secure, Seductive Fortress Around Your Smartphone
By Neal Ungereider
October 5, 2012
The cryptography legend is teaming up with two ex-Navy SEALs to offer encrypted phone calls, video conferencing, and text messages with no learning curve whatsoever. The target market? Businesspeople and government employees traveling abroad.
In the 1990s, cryptography pioneer and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) creator Phil Zimmermann faced federal criminal investigation. His encryption software was so strong, it was charged, there was fear it violated arms trafficking export controls.

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Mobile Apps: The Tactical Radio Mobile App?

This is one of those posts where I thought, why hasn’t anyone in the tactical industry or law enforcement industry developed a mobile app that can convert your smart phone into a 2 way radio? Because according to this article, private industry has already created three mobile apps that turn your phone into a basic 2 way radio.

So for this post, the idea is basic. Create a similar 2 way radio mobile app, but ‘tactify’ it. lol Get it encrypted and secure, and give it functions that would be applicable to military/police/contractor uses. Or just have basic switches on the mobile app that allow a user to customize the app to suite their needs.

The top mobile app for turning your smart phone into a basic 2 way radio according to this article below is Voxer Walkie-Talkie. If you would like to play around with it, and maybe use it for hunting or none tactical purposes, here is a link to check it out. Here it is on iTunes, and below is the description of what it does.

Description
Featured by Apple in 50+ countries
Turn your phone into a Walkie Talkie.
Don’t waste time on phone calls and voicemails.
Voxer® is a Walkie Talkie app for smartphones. Send instant Audio, Text, Photo and Location messages to one friend or a group of your friends. Your friends can listen to your message while you talk or check it out later.
-LIVE WALKIE TALKIE
-Cross Platform Messenger
-VOICE, TEXT, PHOTOS and LOCATION
-GROUP CHATS
-EVERYTHING is FREE
-No annoying advertisements
-Works over WiFi, 3G and any other data network
-Get notifications for new messages
-Create messages even offline
-Play voice messages faster
-Connect with Facebook friends on Voxer
Voxer turns your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch device into the ultimate Push To Talk (PTT) real-time Walkie Talkie.

The other thing I was thinking about with a Tactical Radio Mobile App is that companies could save money by not having to buy expensive handheld two way radios. They could just depend upon an internet connection locally or 3G/data networks, and have a team work off of that. So instead of depending upon a repeater, you are depending upon a diversified array of ‘repeaters’. Or you could have this as your back up to your pre-existing communications system.

Another angle is to create a Garmin Rhino style mobile app. Something that turns your smart phone into a basic Garmin Rhino, complete with blue force tracker style capability and two way radio functionality.

On the downside would be battery life. So along with the mobile app, you would probably have to get hardened cases with extra battery juice installed, to further extend the radio’s life and durability through a shift. Although I think the market has plenty of sources for this type of thing. I would think a power source that would give your phone enough juice to last a 12 hour shift would be acceptable. Rechargeable would be necessary as well. Pretty neat and I hope someone out there is able to take this idea and run with it. Maybe do a kickstarter for it? -Matt

 

 

Smartphone? Presto! 2-Way Radio
By DAVID POGUE
September 5, 2012
Cave drawings, smoke signals, letters, Pony Express, telegrams, phone calls, text messages. From the dawn of civilization, man has experimented with different modes of communication, each with pros and cons. Smoke signals, for example, contribute to far fewer car accidents than text messages. Text messages, on the other hand, leave much less soot.
You might think that we’ve exhausted every variation on electronic communication — text, audio, video — but you’d be wrong. A new one is quietly winning over millions of gadget fans. They’re free apps with names like Voxer, HeyTell and Zello, and they really do mess with the rules of the game.
Nobody’s settled on a good name for this communications category. But if we call them voice-texting apps, or walkie-talkie apps, you’ll get the idea.
They work on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Android phones and Windows phones. You open the app, tap someone’s name, hold down the big Talk button and speak. A second after you start talking — yes, even before you’re finished — your voice bursts to life, extremely clearly, on your friend’s phone, wherever it may be in the world.
Your buddy can respond to you by pressing his own Talk button, and the conversation is under way.
Now, before you roll your eyes — “These youngsters today! Why do they need so many different ways to talk!?” — consider all the ways these apps improve on existing modes of chat.

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Mobile Apps: Theodolite–Turning Your Smart Phone Into A Precision Survey Instrument

Now this is cool and a big hat tip to Soldier Systems for putting this one out there. This mobile app basically converts your smart phone into an actual theodolite or surveying instrument.  Why is this cool? Because this device not only has application for cheap and quick surveying of land, but can also help in military operations where surveying, targeting, and reconnaissance is vital.

The other thing I was thinking about here is something like this could quickly help land owners settle disputes over boundaries. So instead of hiring a survey group to do this, two parties can just pull out their smart phones and confirm together where the boundary is between their properties. In the west where folks have all sorts of surveying assets to call upon, this is not too big of a problem. Although I could still see folks using such a thing to confirm or use as a preliminary survey tool.

But in poor countries with minimal resources, having an ability to determine borders and boundaries cheaply can mean the difference between life and death.  Many wars and conflict start because of boundary disputes between two parties. Especially in places with very weak legal systems, or non-existent legal systems.

The other thing I was thinking about here is the ability to take an app like this and download it into a ‘smart scope’. Or basically take an optic like an EOTech and design it so that it can put this data in the view if you want it–and all with the press of a button. Or you could cycle through your reticles for whatever application (like grenade launcher, machine gun, etc.). Anything that helps the soldier with targeting and making the optic useful.

I also like the idea of using this tool to help in setting up a remote site or combat outpost/FOB. From lining out the Hesco barriers, to setting up defensive positions and fire plan sketches–having a survey tool like the Theodolite mobile app is incredibly useful. -Matt

 

Theodolite is a multi-function augmented reality app that combines a compass, GPS, map, photo/movie camera, rangefinder, and two-axis inclinometer. Theodolite overlays real time information about position, altitude, bearing, range, and inclination on the iPhone’s live camera image, like an electronic viewfinder.??Uses are endless, and Theodolite is great for outdoor sports, hiking, boating, hunting, golf, sightseeing, photography, and navigation. The app is used in the field every day by surveyors, geologists, architects, engineers, military personnel, competitive sportsmen, and search and rescue workers.??Theodolite set a new standard for augmented reality navigation apps when it debuted in 2009. It has been featured numerous times in iTunes (including honors as a “Rewind 2010″ app), and has been the #1 selling Navigation app in iTunes stores around the world.

Theodolite works on any iPhone or 4th generation iPod Touch with OS 4.1 or later.?Compass requires iPhone 3GS, 4, or 4S. iPhone 4 or 4S, or iPod Touch 4 required for gyro and Retina Display support.
Features
Ability to take geo-stamped and geo-tagged photos, screenshots, and movies from the app, with 2X and 4X zoom, buffered background image saves, plus an option to write custom notes on photos and movies. Integrated map with standard, satellite, and hybrid views, compass rose, and bearings. Manage location markers on the map and share with other users via SMS text messaging or e-mail. Optical-mechanical gyro/accelerometer calibration. Zero angle reference mode. A-B survey calculator for height, distance, heading, triangulation, position, and angles. Data logging. E-mail data export with KML. System-wide clipboard integration. Percent grade display. Six different optical rangefinders. Mils. Night vision lens filters. MGRS, UTM, and six lat/lon formats.For use on an iPad, check out Theodolite HD.

What’s New in Version 3.0
NEW! Movie recording, with optional screen/watermark overlays and multiple video quality settings. Three large-format stadiametric rangefinders (sniper/artillery/hunter style, showing distance multipliers, yards, or meters). Revised position formats with new decimal minutes option. Larger font sizing for photo data stamp watermark, with three color options. Onscreen indicator for magnetic declination errors. Bug fix to e-mail export URLs. Numerous performance improvements and tweaks.
Website here.
Purchase at iTunes here.

 

 

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Mobile Apps: Palantir Mobile For Military And Law Enforcement

After checking out some of the videos on Palantir’s youtube channel, I came across these videos that talked about putting Palantir on mobile. I like that, and that puts a lot of capability in the hands of the guys out in the field. And notice the military and law enforcement applications? Very cool…..but what about a contractor application? lol

But on a serious note, tools like this could be very helpful to private industry as they operate in the various war zones of the world. There is so much open source data that could be tapped into in order to assist in the planning for operations. In order to take full advantage of that sea of data, you need tools like Palantir that can quickly process it for you and present it into a logical format that is easy to understand and interpret. It could save lives and help accomplish the mission.

Either way, check it out and let me know what you think? Everyone has smart phones now, and to not take advantage and fully leverage that capability is really missing the boat. If your company is interested in using this app, you will have to contact Palantir directly about it. -Matt

 

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Mobile Apps: Feral Jundi Upgrade For Mobile Viewing

Recently I have been doing some research on the statistics of the blog and stumbled upon a startling figure. Feral Jundi has had a massive increase in traffic from mobile devices like iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or from tablets like iPad. Here is a screen shot of what I am talking about. The key figure here is that the blog went from 1,222 visits from mobile devices in 2010 from Jan to July, to 10,246 visits during the same time period this year. That is a 739 % increase!

The top 5 devices used, and in this order were iPhone, Android, iPad, iPod, and BlackBerry. So with this data, I decided I needed to upgrade and improve upon the mobile version of Feral Jundi.  After doing some research and shopping around, I finally settled upon a company called Brave New Code that makes some software that converts blogs into mobile websites. The set up is called WP Touch Pro, and I am very happy with the final product. I paid $39 for it, and it was a good investment in my view. (disclaimer–I am now an affiliate for WP Touch Pro because I like it so much!)

I went with the Pro version, as opposed to the free version, just because it had some features that I really liked. Plus you get access to their support. The only tweaking I had to do to make it work with my blog is to modify my Quick Cache plugin. In their forum, they talk about exactly how to do this, and it was easy to do. Here is a screen shot of the home page as it would look on iPhone.

So I figured I would highlight some of the features of this thing. If you want to read a post you can click on the title and the whole thing will pop up. Or you can see just a teaser of the post by clicking that arrow button just to the right of the title. But once you get to the actual post, here is a screen shot of that.

In order to read the post, you will have to touch that right side scroll bar and move it down to check out the post. The Chitika ads are both from the website and the mobile ads. the little Chitika ad in the footer will continue to slide down as you read, or you can remove the ad by pressing that X on the ad.  Or if you want to check out that ad, just tap it and you will be able to check it out. At this time, the blog’s Ad Center is not available for mobile. I might play around with this and see what I can come up with in the future. Just check into the Advertising Page up top to find out any news about that kind of thing, or just contact me.

Now the other feature is the Menu, which is a button located in the header at the right side. To check out the Menu, just tap it with your finger and you will get this page.

Pretty self explanatory  here, and I will let the reader explore what they want from here. The book, blocks, and tags graphics are the ‘menu’, categories, and popular tags of the website. So if you want to go back and explore old posts in the archives, that is how you can do it. You can also use the search feature which is a graphic that looks like a magnifying glass.

Some other cool stuff is the comments are indicated by the red dots with numbers in them, indicating how many comments for each post. You can still make comments by following along with the post and scrolling down to the bottom. You also have several means of sharing the post, either by using the ‘share’ button between the post and the comments, or you can click the Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook buttons at the top of the post.

Finally, and this is a cool little deal that I have been playing around with lately. I have come up with a Seal of Feral Jundi. This is something I can use for publications, icons, favicons, etc. Also, this is the homepage icon for FJ, and this new mobile platform will prompt folks to put it on their phone. This makes it very easy to go right to FJ when you want to read it. (if anyone has the old icon, just delete it and re-do the whole process to get the new icon on your mobile device or tablet. Here is a picture of the icon.

The meaning behind this seal is pretty basic, but unique. The Laurel symbolizes education and victory. The serpent swallowing the person is called the Biscione. It has different meanings to different users of the symbol, but for me, I like the Visconti family history of the symbol. It represents to them a serpent that attacked a village, and the Visconti family destroyed that serpent, and was famous for doing so. So for my purposes, the serpent represents evil or the enemy attacking the innocent, and this blog’s dedication to fighting that. And finally, the crown symbolizes leadership.

I might play around more with the concept, but so far I like it. So enjoy and I appreciate any feedback. The folks on Facebook have visited the site on different mobile platforms, and so far they said it is working. -Matt

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Mobile Apps: Tactical NAV Smartphone App Directs UAV–Thwarts Taliban Attack

Excellent little story, although I would like to hear it from the security contractors involved. There is no mention of the company either. So whomever was involved, if you would like to confirm this here on the blog or talk to me in private, I can make the edits to show this actually happened.

The concept of the app is great and it would be nice to get some more details about this incident. Like how the contractor found out about the Tac NAV, and did it work as advertised? It sounded like he was able to communicate the needed information for this incident, and get a UAV over the attacking force.

On the other hand though, did the Taliban run because of the UAV, or were they only conducting a ‘hit and run’ attack and they happened to be gone when the UAV arrived on scene? That is why I would like to get a little more detail before cheering this mobile app on.

Cool stuff though, and if you have a smartphone this would be a good mobile app to have, just because it doesn’t weigh anything and you can store it indefinitely on your phone. -Matt

Tactical NAV Smartphone App Directs UAV – Thwarts Taliban Attack
Jul 21, 2011
Kabul, Afghanistan – With the number of private military contractors exceeding the number of troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a growing concern for keeping contractors safe is more pressing than ever. ?On June 28, a private contractor located near Kabul came under insurgent fire while located in an area where he and his American contractors were working. The contractor immediately called the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) tactical operations center (TOC) for military support, and ISAF personnel then quickly responded by requesting the military grid reference system (MGRS) grid coordinates to the insurgent threat.?However, the contractor was not equipped with a military GPS device or a 1:50,000-scale map to give the proper MGRS coordinates to the TOC. Instead, the contractor used Tactical NAV on his iPhone, and was able to quickly and accurately provide the assisting military personnel with his location, and also the location where the insurgent fire was coming from. As a result, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was dispatched to survey the perimeter of the base, and the insurgent attack was thwarted.?Developed for Soldiers by Soldiers, Tactical NAV assists troops in mapping, plotting and photographing waypoints on the battlefield and also helps Soldiers convey coordinates to other supporting units. Tactical NAV incorporates a compass, camera and a gridded map reference system to accurately pinpoint specific locations and relay that information to other users.

Device Requirements:-iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad-Requires iOS 4.2 or later-5.9
Story here.

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