Keeping Cell Phones Secure on Untrusted Networks

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1. Challenge Statement

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are looking for innovative solutions to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of private and sensitive information associated with the use of smart mobile devices.

2. Background and Context

Smart mobile devices are now ubiquitous. In the last 40 years, personal computers, wired and wireless networking, pagers, cellular phones, and the internet, have revolutionized the way people communicate, share information, collaborate, and conduct business. With current 4G and 5G technology and the latest smart devices, the real and online world have converged more than ever. While this convergence enables the exchange of real-time information anywhere, anytime, in various forms and fidelity, it also potentially exposes the individual’s privacy and their personal information to others.

The focus of this Challenge is to permit users to continue to leverage the full power of smart mobile devices to conduct business in the office and on the move, while minimizing the risk to their privacy and to sensitive information. When using these untrusted networks, the challenge is to maintain the anonymity of the person and their device and be aware of the integrity of their network connection.

3. Desired Outcomes

Innovative concepts, designs, or technologies to mitigate risk to confidentiality and integrity when exchanging private and sensitive information using smart mobile devices (mainly smart phones) on untrusted networks (cellular, WiFi, or wired) are sought, including but not limited to:

  • Means to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information exchanged;
  • Means to increase anonymity of smart mobile devices on untrusted networks;
  • Means to increase anonymity of individuals (e.g., physical identity and location as well as identity, footprint, behavioral pattern, etc.) when using smart mobile devices; and/or
  • Means to detect man-in-the-middle attacks and other threats to the integrity of the network connection on untrusted networks.
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