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Spyware on BlackBerry

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An update for Blackberry users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could allow unauthorised access to private information and e-mails. The update was prompted by a text from UAE telecoms firm Etisalat, suggesting it would improve performance. Instead, the update resulted in crashes or drastically reduced battery life.

Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) said in a statement the update was not authorised, developed, or tested by RIM. The update has now been identified as an application developed by American firm SS8. The California-based company describes itself as a provider of "lawful electronic intercept and surveillance solutions", which we translate as 'maker of spyware'.

It is not clear why Etisalat wanted to include the software in the download. Etisalat is a major telecommunications firm based in the UAE, with 145,000 Blackberry users on its books.

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BlackBerry is possibly some sort of haven for spyware creators. FlexiSPY Ltd. creates FlexiSPY mobile phone spy software for Blackberry, Windows Mobile and the latest Nokia Series 60 phones. It runs invisibly in the background and can only be accessed using a secret code, is available in two versions across all the newly supported devices – PRO and LIGHT

FlexiSPY LIGHT automatically records all incoming & outgoing SMS messages, calls, emails and tracks the device location. It then uploads these logs via GPRS to FlexiSPY's remote server for later viewing and analysis. Users simply log onto FlexiSPY's secured web site and they will have access to all phone activity recorded on the mobile phone. FlexiSPY PRO includes all of the features of FlexiSPY Light plus the ability to secretly switch the phone’s microphone on from any other phone; thereby listening into the target’s surroundings.

I would regard this as not cool.

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