This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
The Russian Defense Ministry has issued a rare statement following a successful Ukrainian strike against a temporary based located in the occupied city of Makiivka. The statement attributed the success to the wide use of personal smartphones among the Ukrainian forces. While powered on, the phones had been pinging Ukraine’s cellular network, allowing Ukrainian forces to triangulate precise location information.
The universal adoption of smartphones, as well as social media, has revolutionized the dynamics of surveillance. Social media requires few intermediaries, meaning that members of the armed forces can—and do—use smartphones to participate in online dialogue without oversight. More data—such as locations, and information about habits, health, relationships, religious beliefs, and more—is being generated and shared than ever before. Although militaries often instruct soldiers in the field not to utilize personal phones, the rules are regularly ignored.
While traditionally military commanders would forbid or heavily limit the usage of mobile phones, controlling the flow of information, today the amount of digital information that is being shared is impossible to fully oversee.
While the prevalence of smartphones today has drastically shifted the availability of intelligence, according to cfr.org, securing smartphones against information leakage is difficult and almost impossible when the owners themselves choose to disclose sensitive information over social media.
Despite their troubling vulnerabilities, smartphones on the battlefield do enable immense tactical opportunities. A key challenge for modern militaries lies in maximizing the benefits of the extraordinary communications and computational capacity of current and next-generation smartphones while sufficiently mitigating the equally extraordinary cyber and intelligence risks involved in their use.
Prepared to dive into the world of futuristic technology? Attend INNOTECH 2023, the international convention and exhibition for cyber, HLS and innovation at Expo, Tel Aviv, on March 29th-30th
Interested in sponsoring / a display booth at the 2023 INNOTECH exhibition? Click here for details!