Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Etisalat Of UAE Sends "Interceptor" Spyware As An BlackBerry Firmware Upgrade

BlackBerry Spyware In UAE

BlackBerry users of UAE may have downloaded spyware disguised as BlackBerry Update that secretly read and stored text messages and e-mails. These messages were sent to an unknown server. Research In Motion has confirmed the incidence and offered a solution.

The carrier, Etisalat, a cellular service company is based in the United Arab Emirates, UAE. It offered the firmware upgrade to BlackBerry subscribers on July 8 that it would improve the device's performance and a must for continued service. There were many complains after the upgrade that drained battery life of the device.

RIM said the program appears to have been designed and developed from SS8, a Milpitas, Calif., software company specializing in "lawful intercept and surveillance solutions."

The program, named "Interceptor," reported the BlackBerrys' behaviour back to an unknown server.

"Recently, certain Etisalat customers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may have received an SMS message from Etisalat inviting the customer to click on a link and download a software application provided by Etisalat on to their BlackBerry Handheld. The Etisalat software application, named “Registration”, was described by Etisalat as a BlackBerry software upgrade designed to improve performance. Etisalat’s “Registration” software application is not in fact a RIM-authorized software upgrade and was not developed, tested, promoted, distributed or authorized in any way by RIM.


Independent sources have concluded that Etisalat’s “Registration” software application is not actually designed to improve performance of a BlackBerry Handheld, but rather to send received messages back to a central server.

RIM has developed this App Remover software (“Software”) to enable affected customers to remove Etisalat’s “Registration” software application."

You can read the complete message and get the RIM APP Remover from RIM Site.



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