Hacked smartphones could put troops at risk

Markus Jakobsson, who works on security and malware strategy for the online payment company PayPal, told NetworkWorld he has discussed the issue with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

"I would say the military are aware of it but not very comfortable with it," he said.

Even using the applications that come with the phone can pose risks. Unless deactivated, most pictures taken with smartphone cameras are tagged with geocodes containing the coordinates of where they were taken. Troops sending pictures home to family members could give away their locations if the pictures are intercepted.

Several security companies are working on potential solutions, but proper user education and guidance is the most effective way to prevent troops from inadvertently compromising their security.