[Cryptography] Bizarre behavior of a non-smart mobile phone

Tom Mitchell mitch at niftyegg.com
Fri May 12 17:08:59 EDT 2017

I think the best solution is to not program in phone numbers except an
emergency number.
Go old school and have a "little black book" of numbers and addresses.
Businesses have issues that a quality secretary can solve.   The secretary
can make a conference call and obfuscate your travel number and more.

Yes this is a pain with time zones.
But there are companies where the phone directory of key officers and
others is not to be shared.
Incoming phone numbers can  be spoofed so a call from your COO might not be.
A recent demonstration of an 'deep learning" voice impersonator was
highlighted by one network and while
a bit mechanical could fool some especially with a bad connection or a
dump of instructions into
a voice mail box.  Code words and phrases make sense for business too.

Not full blown encryption that might get you detained but classic old
school business practices with checks
and cross checks.
Bad hardware and bad software cannot be discounted nor can interference.

Old school telegraph was in the clear and at least four people saw the
message in the clear.
TTY teletype... much the same.
Early phone systems had plug boards where an operator could listen
with a flip of the switch.
Old school did not have secure channels so act old schoolish.

As a minimum companies and families at risk (or not) should have a
SIMPLE challenge response system
that includes a trouble code as well as an all is good code.  Respond
10-4 if you got it.
Respond 10-1 if you do not ;-)


On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 2:45 PM, mok-kong shen
<mok-kong.shen at t-online.de> wrote:
> Am 11.05.2017 um 13:26 schrieb Shawn K. Quinn:
>> Bad hardware (particularly the make call and end call/power off buttons)
>> comes to mind, though bad software is also possible. (I had a feature
>> phone that would power off and/or lock up at random, though it didn't
>> make random phone calls like yours did).
> During an certain  initial period I never made calls myself and the device
> was in a closed
> state such that its buttons were protected from being pressed and yet the
> phenomenon
> occurred. Thus I surmise that  software manipulation could be a likely
> cause.
> M. K. Shen
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> cryptography at metzdowd.com
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