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  1.    #1  
    Anyone know enough to comment about specific security implications of leaving one's GPRS data connection open full-time? That is certainly FASTER than having to login to the VPN each time I check my email. However, I'm not sure that it is as SAFE. Presumably, the speed of the GPRS data connection would not be real attractive to hackers, but then, some folks just can't resist a real *challenge*.

    I've no idea how the IP assignment via GPRS works. I assmume it is dynamic, of course, but don't know if an IP address, once assigned, is then essentially "static" until one logs off of the VPN. Perhaps the IP address assignment is made each time a new data request is made, though I've not heard of anything so sophisticated as that...

    Comments appreciated. I plan, BTW, to login to one of the security web sites and see what I can learn about how a Treo "looks" to a system designed to probe for security holes.

  2.    #2  
    Just a follow-up. I visited and and let them try to detect and/or connect to the Treo. The device couldn't be detected by either site, which is good, BUT...these sites are designed to look at PC's, not PalmOS devices, so the test results may be totally worthless, if interesting.

    Also, FWIW, my IP address, as reported by, remained the same even after repeated, deliberate disconnects and reconnects from/to the VPN. When I attempted to PING the reported IP address, I got a reply from a DIFFERENT IP address that the site was unreachable.
  3. #3  
    Depending on your service provider this can work differently. To find out your IP address, as assigned by your provider, do the following:

    Log into the GPRS network. The launch your "Prefs". Select the Network preferences. Then from the pull-down menu under "Options", select "View Log...". Scroll down and it will list your "Local IP address:"

    Now, since the IP address as reported by has remained the same, I am willing to bet that the IP address assigned to your Treo is an internal, non-routable IP between one of these ranges: to to to

    If this is the case, then you leave your providers network through a proxy or NAT solution. Hence, most everyones's external IP address is the same, that of the proxy.

    My provider, Fido, on the other hand actually assigns real, routable IPs. I can actually ping my Treo from another computer.

    Either way, I do not believe security is an issue, there is no way to hack into a Treo over a network, as the Treo does not provide any services to which there is an exploit.
  4. #4  
    As far I understand from the specs and my experience, GPRS (the standard) or telcos providing GPRS use NAT, so you don't have an IP visible to the outside. That will be changed with UMTS and MobileIP.

    And even if it increases the need for more security concerns, I look forward to it. Just imagine.. email push instead of pull... news push services... running a web server from your Treo. Yay.

  5. #5  
    An inherent um... feature of GPRS is 'packet loss'. With GPRS, packets are fired off in all directions (literally) and some can be corrupted or fall into a black hole (hence, packet loss). Error correction takes care of it for the most part but it does beg the question - where do all those lost packets end up?

    Saying this, it would be 'impossible' to piece together anything from a lost packet...

    There is an interesting article by the Chairman of the GSM Security Group all about GPRS security. It gives quite a good diagram of the flow... looks pretty safe.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by tobiasr
    As far I understand from the specs and my experience, GPRS (the standard) or telcos providing GPRS use NAT, so you don't have an IP visible to the outside.
    Not true, as I stated in my last post, my provider assigns real IPs.

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