Burner phones are an eavesdropping risk for international travelers
In order to limit the risk of exposing sensitive business data while abroad, international business travelers can use of burner phones with a minimal data footprint. However, Michael Campbell of Privoro warns that because those phones are used only for a single trip and contain as little valuable data as possible, they often lack advanced security features, which can put CEOs and other business travelers at risk of eavesdropping attacks.
Unless business travelers take specific precautions to protect their burner devices, intelligence agencies and business competitors may be able to install spyware on the phone through various means, including malicious carrier updates, Bluetooth and other types of Radio frequency (RF) hacking and physical installation by customs agents or hotel staff. While there may be little valuable data on the internal storage of a burner phone, spyware could turn on the phone’s microphone in order to eavesdrop on business meetings.
For more information about how you can protect your information and technology systems while traveling abroad, check out OODA’s Traveling Executive’s Guide to Cybersecurity: