BlackBerry Buzz: Spyware Alert


It’s Tuesday and that can only mean it’s time for our weekly feature, the BlackBerry Buzz. While RIM (s rimm) marketshare has dropped, and LinkedIn has come to the BlackBerry, there is other news about the ‘Berry to share. Security specialist Tyler Shields wants BlackBerry owners to know that the platform is not safe from spyware. Shields demonstrated to CNET how he wrote a spyware app using standard mobile provider APIs that lets him take control of a phone by simply sending a text message. His spyware allows someone with malicious intent to capture the contact list on the phone, get copies of all messages and even to track the owner using the phone’s GPS ability. Hopefully RIM is paying attention to plug this security hole Shields has demonstrated. In the meantime BlackBerry owners should be careful what apps they download and to the permissions they approve for each app during the installation.

BlackBerry owners using the Bolt browser should note that Feb. 15 a new version will be released by Bitstream (s bits). Version 1.7 will bring beta support for widgets, small web apps that are run within the Bolt browser. There will be a Bolt Widget Gallery with apps for users to install in the browser to expand capabilities for personal customization of the browser. Bolt is a server-based browser that runs on phones equipped with Java support, and it provides near desktop browsing ability due to the Bitstream Thunderhawk technology.

The cloud file storage service DropBox will be coming to the BlackBerry this year. The folks at DropBox have notified users that in addition to the iPhone (s aapl) app versions for Android (s goog) and the BlackBerry will be “coming soon.” There’s no word on when “soon” might be but it’s good news for those who use DropBox to store data in the cloud.

Related research:  As Windows Mobile Stumbles, Which Smartphone OS Will Seize the Lead?


T. Oen

This is not a big surprise. As are mobile devices take place of the existing computer systems, this will be more of a threat. The bad guys are working hard to develop spyware software that will work on mobile devices. We have to make sure the good guys keep up.

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