Mobile spy applications pose security risk

In the last few days I couldn’t help but stumble on a story surrounding a mobile spy application for Google Android. The latest mobile spy application is called “Mobile Spy”. The app records a detailed log of calls, visited URLs, incoming and outgoing SMS messages (this includes the entire text message along with the recipients telephone number) and GPS locations.

Now, you might think what’s the problem? Firstly this app (like many others i.e. PhoneSnoop for BlackBerry) runs in total stealth mode. Worse still, if you do a search for the app on your Android phone you’ll be unable to find it even in the installation folder, so once you’ve installed it, how do you remove it?

The problem here is this application is actually running like malware would – hidden from view and collecting sensitive data into a log. This log could (it doesn’t, but there is nothing to stop this from actually happening) be sent ‘silently’ to a hacker, very much the same way that data is maliciously collected from infected PCs without the user ever knowing.

My next thought is – will anti-virus vendors label this app as malware? If they do, expect both the makers of mobile spy applications and the anti-virus vendors to attempt to outwit each other – not that mobile users use mobile anti-virus. My research suggests very few people know that they need anti-virus or even where to look for it.

If you use Windows Mobile, I’d personally suggest you do use a mobile anti-virus – those of us who use the Symbian, Apple and Android platforms are for now very much safe. In the future mobiles will be a greater threat than PCs, especially as more and more users purchase smartphones, so we’d all better be prepared for the changes, challenges and threats that are around the corner.

Finally, let’s not forget that “Mobile Spy” is a commercial app for now, so I don’t want to encourage people that it’s a totally useless piece of software for the average user. Far from it, as I believe some people may find some use – i.e. to track a loved one who may be cheating on you. Hackers in my mind are the real winners here. I’m sure they will in the future find some way to exploit this type of ‘genuine’ software for malicious purposes. For now, mobile users are safe, but for how long?

ID Theft Protect

Safe surfing folks!


This entry was posted in anti-virus, mobile, privacy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mobile spy applications pose security risk

  1. Android Tracking says:

    This is going to be very helpful to many of us. Not all people are trustworthy enough with all these stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *