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Risk

2/26/2008
01:14 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Cell Phone Device Detects Deleted Data

Cell phone users whose phones use SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) strips need to know that a new device that reads those strips can also retrieve deleted text messages. It's called, appropriately enough, Cell Phone Spy.

Cell phone users whose phones use SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) strips need to know that a new device that reads those strips can also retrieve deleted text messages. It's called, appropriately enough, Cell Phone Spy.The $150 device is touted as a convenient way to transfer SIM data to new SIM cards via a PC, as well as to backup phone data on your PC.

But manufacturer Brickhouse Security also markets the device as way to:

"Read private data stored on any Cell Phone SIM card."

More than that, the company's Web site asks:

"Have you ever wished you can spy on your wife, husband, teens, or colleague phone to see what they are up to?"

Leaving aside the company's obviously grammar-challenged prose, the question Brickhouse asks raises a larger one.

Your "wife, husband, teens" private phone messages may or may not be your business, depending on the nature of your household.

But the material on your "colleague phone" is almost definitely not your concern -- unless of course you're concerned (as you should be) about inappropriate access to your colleagues' and employees' phone material.

Add to this Brickhouse's assertion that Cell Phone Spy can recover any deleted text message still resident on the SIM, and you've got a device that can indeed give you a window into what your children or spouse are up to, but that could also be used to grab -- or recover and grab -- confidential business messages.

Employees with SIM-equipped phones (not all cell phones use the technology) should be reminded that their data strips, like every piece of storage technology, not only retain more "deleted" information than they might think, but also should never be discarded.

What's on those strips, and especially what they think is no longer on those strips, just might come back to haunt them -- and your business.

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