Lost phones phone home and annoy new “owner” too


MaverickmobilelogoI’m all for technology that helps recover mobile gear, but I’m wondering if this solution called Maverick Secure Mobile is going too far. It’s definitely what I’d call full-featured based on these aspects:

  • Data Protection: if the software detects a different SIM card in your phone, it encrypts your data.
  • Device Tracking: if lost, the phone will send an SMS to a secondary device. Not only does it send the phone number of the new SIM, but also phone activity information such as outgoing and incoming calls.
  • Phonebook Retrieval: you can send an SMS to your lost phone and request information from your phonebook. I’m not sure how well this will work as it sends the data back through SMS; with numerous contacts, you won’t want to get your whole phonebook this way, but in a pinch, you can grab a name a number pretty easily.
  • Spy Call: Here’s where it begins to get interesting. From a secondary device, you can actually call your lost phone and this feature will silently enable the loudspeaker and microphone on it. Maverick Mobile says that this will let you listen in on any calls made or received with your lost phone. The new "owner" apparently will have no idea that they’re being eavesdropped on.
  • Alarm and Disable: Once you’ve had your fill of listening in on calls, you can send a remote SMS command to your lost phone. The lost phone will show an SMS message where you can put your address and offer a reward to get your phone back; it also causes the phone to play an alarm siren. Call me crazy, but if I found a phone that was annoying me with an alarm, I’d probably pull the battery out before I even saw the SMS message
For the moment, Maverick Secure Mobile is only supported on Symbian S60, 3rd edition devices. There’s no price shown on the product page that I can see, but the product was just shown at DEMO, and I’d expect details to be forthcoming. And now I’m going to be wondering all day long just who can hear my phone calls.



Last I knew, although the government is using warrantless wiretapping these days, it was still illegal for the rest of us in the U.S. Even if the phone is stolen, I doubt that listening in on conversations without the knowledge of at least one party to the conversation is even legal.


I think this can be misused also. The user can sell his phone to a friend or acquaintance and then eavesdrop on the conversation. The company should modify the product

Kevin C. Tofel

The Adeona laptop-tracking solution looks pretty interesting and I do like the fact that it’s open source. For some reason, I feel more trusting of a open source app in this space over a solution from a for-profit entity. There’s still privacy risk involved in either case, so you have to assess your own personal risk tolerance.


I blogged the very same software minutes ago.
I think the best part is that it appears they have a deal with nokia to preinstall the software in factory.
My question: a tech-saavy thief can just restore a stock firmware in the phone and be happy. isn’t that true?
And, this software doesn’t appear to be opensource. I don’t like the idea that some “hidden” software can phone home whenever it wants.
mmmh. For example, I found a great idea the project started some months ago for protecting stolen laptops [http://adeona.cs.washington.edu/index.html%5D. that software and platform is opensource: I don’t fear that.
kevin, what do you think?


That Spy Call feature could also be used in a Jerry Lewis fashion. As noted on Seinfeld, supposedly he would leave a meeting early with a tape recorder in it then come back to retrieve it and the tape of what they said about him after he left.

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