The following articles are disturbing and they’re true. This is something each and every cell phone user should be aware of and know exists. It’s illegal, it’s very frightening, it’s an invasion of privacy, and yet it’s happening right now. If you have a cellphone, you can be a target, worse part is you may not even know.
For as little a price of $99, anyone can purchase downloadable software that when activated on a person’s cell phone, will allow someone else to listen in on calls, read texts, retrieve their email, view their pictures, and track them by GPS. You can even have the phone call you, so that you can listen to their conversation. Scared yet? You should be. The following link will take you to an actual news story as they uploaded such software on a coworkers phone, as she agreed, and tested to see how much information was possible to retrieve off the phone.
“They’re extremely stealthy and silent, and the user never knows they’re infected,” said Keith Book, president of SMOBILE Systems, a Columbus company that tracks spyware around the globe and makes software to fight the hackers.
The spyware can be spread from phone to phone via text messages, shared photos, or by email. Much of the data is even sent overseas to Russia and China. There it is collected and used for identity theft as well.
Watch it with bluetooth as well. Never accept a file via bluetooth unless you know the sender and you both know you are sharing files. This software can work, and even different news crews have purchased, downloaded, and used it to show they do work. You can google and even look on youtube for videos of news crews using the software. This is scary. I guess the moral of the story is don’t accept pictures, install files, or read texts from an ex, and keep your phone password protected. But also, downloading and installing a software such as SMobile Systems’ Security Shield will help protect you from spyware such as this. For as little as $24.99 a year, you can be protected from spyware and viruses, theft, and spam. A small price to avoid the next new exploit.
Now that’s the beginning. I am going to trackback to another more broader article that is going to go into details about the scam part of it. This article is from SMobile Systems and it explains the scam and how it works. It also shows what lures jealous spouses, untrusting significant others, jilted partners, and even protective parents. We’re facing a new problem.
In this particular case, a tool has been released publicly that asserts itself as a spying utility that can allow a disgruntled person to spy on their spouse or significant other, parents on their children, bosses on employees, etc. While these tools certainly exist and have proven successful, the SMobile Global Threat Center believes this particular instance to be a scam and purports that it can â€œview SMS messages, contact lists, call logs, set the target device to call YOU when it makes or receives a call, view photos and much more.
Some of the popular names of programs SMobile was able to pinpoint are:
“Cell Spy Proâ€
â€œUltimate Bluetooth Mobile Phone Spy Software Edition 2009â€
â€œUltimate Mobile Phone Spy 2009 Platinum Editionâ€
â€œUltimate Bluetooth Mobile Phone Spy 2009â€
â€œMoza Mobile Spyâ€
â€œBluetooth Spy Softwareâ€
â€œUltimate bluetooth mobile phone spy software 2008â€
â€œUltimate Spy Cell Softwareâ€
â€œBluetooth Spy Software for Mobiles/PC/Laptopsâ€
Here are some common phrases they used to advertise their spyware and lure the unsuspecting readers:
Think that your wife is secretly text messaging at night?
Or that your husband is making secret calls when youâ€™re not paying attention?
Is your DAUGHTER wasting her time on that NO GOOD PUNK?
Is your PARTNER cheating on you and making secret calls in the bathroom?
Are your FAMILY members wasting too many unnecessary minutes on your PHONE CONTRACT?
Are your children TEXTING or TALKING on the phone when they should be doing their homework or household chores?
Will this work in my country?
Yes! This product does not depend upon country or mobile network. It will work anywhere in the world!
Will I have to install any software on the phone(s) I wish to spy on?
No. This product only needs to be installed on your phone.
I donâ€™t want my wife/husband to know I ordered. How can I discreetly purchase this item?
We understand your need to order discreetly. Click here to find out how to purchase without a credit card.
Further research indicated that this is indeed a money making scheme. Once an individual is persuaded that this is the product they are looking for, they are told that itâ€™s simply a software download once the credit card transaction has completed. While this is a true statement, the charge does occur and a download is provided, users will find that the package delivered is largely unusable on any recent smartphone device. Disgruntled users find that they have no recourse for complaint, as they are provided with an email address and a phone number that is a simple voice recording. Complaint reports were found online that indicate that additional credit card charges occurred once the original transaction took place, one amounting to nearly $800 at Best Buy. These reports can be viewed here.
Looking at the actual file that is downloaded reveals exactly why consumers are unable to get the tool to function. As it is received, the true name of the tool is revealed as â€œCell Spy Pro v2.rarâ€ and is nothing more than a .rar file that contains dozens of obsolete Bluetooth exploits that are very unlikely to work on any recent devices as they exploit vulnerabilities in the first version of the Bluetooth protocol. The new version of Bluetooth running on recent devices makes the old exploits quite impossible to employ.
At this point, the Global Threat Center does not believe there is anything malicious that will occur if this tool is downloaded.Â We believe this is simply a scam to allow the developer to make money that provides a useless product with no recourse to recover the funds that were exchanged.
[via: SMobile Systems]
So now we ask you, do you feel safe? Have you ever had an experience with either being the target or the control? Please leave your comments, even if it’s a video you watched about it. I’m curious how the BlackBerry Nation feels about this.