Maybe this is what the French were talking about when they banned the BlackBerry.
Note that this news is coming in through Australia, and that the application in question might or might not be an issue in the US (we haven’t found anything on the cross check).
But it’s a BlackBerry security issue nonetheless. Apparently, there’s been an update to the controversial program FlexiSPY, which is considered by security professionals to be “legal spyware.” We don’t like the sounds of that term. The program is marketed as a way to keep track of a certain distrusted someone — spouse, employee, or those meddling teenagers.
A remote user can retrieve almost all information that goes through a given BlackBerry. This includes phone calls — including phone taps — text messages, e-mail, and even the location of the user (using the GPS program in the 8800 and up). “This is the first [Trojan] for a BlackBerry we have ever seen,” said Patrik Runald, senior security specialist with F-Secure.
It’s one thing if a wife wants to keep track of her traveling husband. It’s not ethically right, in our humble opinion, but the effects probably don’t reach further than the couple and their immediate family. Corporate espionage, however, is another issue altogether. We can’t imagine the implications of a business using this to spy on a competitor.
If caught, that would surely cause an enormous uproar and lengthy legal battle. There is simply no good that comes from that. No sir, we don’t like it. We’ll continue checking to see if this is a problem with US handsets. [ZDNet Australia]