Mobile-device manufacturer RIM is unconcerned about a new release of software that aims to compromise the security of a BlackBerry device. ~ Ask The Admin

Friday, July 06, 2007

Mobile-device manufacturer RIM is unconcerned about a new release of software that aims to compromise the security of a BlackBerry device.

Are you worried that RIM is not worried... This isn't new and before long this will be an issue - Mark my words. All that wonderful information from powerful peoples blackberrys... I mean come on! Read this and let us know how you feel.

The latest version of legal spying software FlexiSpy enables remote third
parties to bug the voice calls, log SMS and mobile email messages and track the
location of a BlackBerry user.
Ian Robertson, senior manager of security and
research at RIM, said users need not be particularly worried about the
capability of FlexiSpy.
"While it's the subject of some debate, I don't
consider it a virus nor a Trojan, as it does require conscientious effort from
the user to load the program," he said.
Robertson said an average user that
maintains good hygiene would never see the software loaded onto their device
without their knowledge.
There are some basic steps, he said, that users can
take to protect themselves.
First, a user should set a password for their
device so that nobody else can physically load the application. "This is the
same for any device, be it a laptop or a smartphone," he said.
Second, the
user should only load applications from known and trusted sources.
those two methods alone, no surreptitious software can be inadvertently loaded
onto the device," he said.
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Finally, the BlackBerry service comes with a built-in software
firewall. "If it isn't enabled already, be sure to have it switched on,"
Robertson said.
The firewall would, in the case of FlexiSpy being active,
prompt the user that something is trying to access the device.
"It would say
something like: this application wants to make a connection to the device —
cancel or allow?"
Robertson said that it is not entirely true that the
FlexiSpy application works without the user knowing they are being spied
"There are ways you can tell if the program is loaded onto the device,"
he said. "First, the control panel for the application makes use of SMS
messages, which don't appear like regular messages. Second, the application is
visible if one views the files loaded onto the device."
That's assuming of
course, that a user has the technical nous to understand their BlackBerry's
control panel.
Robertson said that, despite the marketing of sinister
applications such as FlexiSpy, BlackBerry users are protected.
"We provide a
fantastic platform and rich controls to allow security to be tailored to meet an
organisation's needs," he said. "There are over 250 IT policies and complete
application control — far and away beyond anything else in this
Concerned users can read whitepapers on protecting their BlackBerry
from malware here.


And this goes back to March 2, 2006:

McAfee has issued a security alert for a trojan horse program called J2ME/RedBrowser.a that targets the Blackberry 8700c, Nokia 6681 and the Sony Ericsson W800i. The virus arrives in a program called redbrowser.jar and must be installed by the user to infect the device. The risk assessment of this threat is categorized as Low-Profiled by McAfee. The trojan pretends to access WAP web pages via SMS messages. In reality instead of retrieving WAP pages, it sends SMS messages to Premium Rate numbers thus costing the user more than intended. In order to delete the trojan users should use current engine and DAT files for detection, then delete any file which contains the detection. Symtoms of the virus are as follows: Upon startup the following text(translated from Russian) is displayed: "Carefully read following description of RedBrowser program This program allows viewing WAP pages without GPRS connection. RedBrowser connects to SMS server of your operator (MTS, BEELINE, MEGAFON). Page is loaded by receiving encoded SMS. First 5Mb (650 SMS) of traffic are provided free of charge in test mode. ATTENTION!!! Program RedBrowser works ONLY on above mentioned cellular operators."