Mobile Spy Can Now Secretly Record Your iPhone SMS, Calling Data

via Gizmodo by Elaine Chow on 12/18/08


Mobile Spy, that terrible piece of technology that silently monitors smartphones without the user knowing, has come to the iPhone. Goodbye safe haven of SMS and calling privacy, it was nice knowing you.

The app, created by Retina-X Studios, runs in total stealth mode so that users don’t know its even on their phones. It silently records all SMS text messages, inbound and outbound call information (including call duration) and uploads them to a private account you specify.

It’s been out for a while now on Symbian and WinMo phones, but the iPhone had been left gloriously untouched until now. Not surprising, I suppose, given the device’s ever-increasing popularity. Retina-X says its for monitoring your children or employees. I say if you need to monitor them like this, you’ve got some terrible control and trust issues.

[Aving]

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RFID tattoos: Way scarier than that ‘Snakes on a Plane’ tattoo

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RFID is kind of scary. It’s in our passports now, allowing people to skim info from us in airports. Companies are gonna start sticking them in employee badges, allowing them to be tracked throughout a building. And now you can get an RFID tattoo permanently making you trackable by anyone who’s so inclined.

This update to the always-creepy barcode tattoo will allow your “signal” to be picked up from up to a meter away. Currently researchers at Somark Innovations have gotten their special ink working on cows, rats, and mice, and you know that we’re next. Just remember this when you join the army and they want you to get a tattoo for “solidarity.” And tracking, big brother. Yikes.

Microsoft’s Private Folder App Criticized

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Microsoft has released an application that would make it possible for those who share a PC or account to store files in a separate folder that only they may access. The move has been criticized, however, as some say the program could be misused, hiding content from IT administrators.

The software is called Private Folder 1.0, and hides data from the hard drive in addition to protecting it with a password. While no support will be given for the product, it will be available to those who verify their software as genuine through Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage Program.

But response to Private Folder from some was not positive. “An alleged security app that’s easily circumvented and completely unsupported, with absolutely no documentation? Oh, dear. With all due respect, who the heck came up with this and why?” a user named “Drew” posted to the MSBlog on Monday.

Additionally, if a user loses the password to the folder, there is no way for Microsoft –or an administrator — to unlock the files to regain access, something that many of the application’s detractors found problematic.

Developer Greg Duncan said in his personal blog the fact that anyone could use this application troubled him. “As a parent I don’t want anything on any PC in the house my son uses to be hidden from review,” he said. Acknowledging that some may criticize his tough stand, he said “I know all to well the dark side of the Net.”

Those looking to try out Private Folder 1.0 can download it from FileForum.

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Microsoft hands out ‘private’ folders

Free software lets people store sensitive data on their home or work computers in a password-protected folder.

Microsoft has introduced Private Folder 1.0, free software that lets people store sensitive data on their home or work computers in a password-protected folder.

Private Folder 1.0, which is saved to a person’s desktop, aims to shield private data from others when they have access to someone’s computer or account. The potential fallout from IT administrators remains to be seen, should their colleagues opt to hide sensitive data in a private, password-protected folder. Microsoft does not offer support for the software.

“Private Folder 1.0 is a useful tool…to protect your private data when friends, colleagues, kids or other people share your PC or account,” the software giant said in its announcement.

People who want to download the software are first required to run their computers through the Windows Genuine Advantage program. The controversial antipiracy tool is designed to verify that people have a legitimate copy of Microsoft Windows.

Those using the software also must have Windows XP Home Edition, Professional Edition or Media Center Edition, with Service Pack 2. The software also needs a high-resolution Super VGA video adapter and monitor to work properly.

Some observers are raising concerns about the potential headaches Private Folder may create for IT administrators.

“Oh great, have they even thought about the impact this could have on enterprises. I’m already trying to frantically find information on this product so that A) I can block to all our desktops and B) figure out how we then support it when users inevitably lose files. I can see the benefit in this product for home users, but it’s a bit of a sloppy release by Microsoft,” said an individual named Stuart Graham in a posting on MSBlog, a site related to Windows Server 2003.

Another individual, Daniel Goldleaf, said on MSBlog that companies should have terms of usage for corporate PCs that instruct employees not to download software onto their systems.

“If they install (Private Folder), uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs,” Goldleaf added.

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