Nashua start-up company to offer anti-snooping software
Warning: Your smartphone may be spying on you.
So says Gary Miliefsky, a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who's heading up a Nashua start-up company that is developing anti-snooping software.
"It's a huge problem," he said Friday. "We all install applets and click 'trust' without verifying."
He said smartphones can't prevent people from stealing your phone contact list or emails, which may contain sensitive information."If someone wants to steal your identity and watch you do your bank transactions online or watch your kids, SnoopWall is going to help protect you from those bad people," he said.Some apps that people download on their phone "steal data, and the anti-virus and firewall (protection) never manage those data leakage ports," he said.
"SnoopWall watches and helps and protects your hardware data ports where everybody's stealing from," he said. Miliefsky said his software protects those ports, such as Bluetooth and GPS.
The website, AntiVirusTruth.org, said anti-virus software doesn't catch 20 percent of malware, which provides entry to spying on computer users.
"According to writers for Popular Mechanics, cyber criminals create backdoors that allow them to spy on you through your webcam, microphone, GPS & more," according to AntiVirusTruth.org.
A spokesman for CTIA-The Wireless Association, an international nonprofit group representing the wireless communications industry, didn't have an immediate comment Friday.
SnoopWall, about a half-dozen workers housed in a Tara Boulevard office, is raising funding through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Contributors giving $5 will receive an early-bird preview of SnoopWall for Android devices in July, while those donating at least $1,000 will get a launch party VIP invite. Other versions will follow.
Miliefsky expects business will get a boost from recent news reports of a federal surveillance program, approved by a secret federal court, that involved the federal government collecting from Internet providers online records in an effort to detect terrorist plots.
"I think that will drive more traffic and business our way," he said.
That news "is going to wake up a lot of people, and people will be worried about online privacy and mobile piracy and eavesdropping, and snooping is a big problem," he said.
"The NSA (National Security Agency) spying is not the big problem because they don't go inside your back pocket and steal your credit cards," he said. "I'm more worried about online predators looking at our kids."
Miliefsky said he "authored documents" for the Department of Homeland Security and the White House and trained a lot of people in the government on cybersecurity "to get us ahead of the next threat."
He said he couldn't talk about some of his government work.