the joys of GSM devices you don't control, part 6438

Tom Yates madhatter at
Sat Jul 18 09:17:03 CEST 2009

i haven't seen any mention of this on here yet, and it came from the 
latest SANS newsbytes (v11 n56).  it gave me a grin to think of yet 
another thing i don't have to worry about as an openmoko user, because my 
GSM device is entirely under my control, and i can inspect the source for 
everything i run, if i want to.

  --Blackberry Update Found to Contain Spyware
(July 14, 2009)
A United Arab Emirates service provider pushed out a BlackBerry update
that contains spyware capable of intercepting users email and text
messages and sending them back to the server. The
performance-enhancement patch was sent as a WAP Push message to 100,000
users. Its spyware capabilities were discovered only after one user took
a closer look at the update because it appeared to be draining the
devices battery. The battery was being drained because the application
was trying to register with a central server that became overwhelmed
with the traffic, so the devices repeatedly tried to make contact.


       Tom Yates  -

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