Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

7/21/2009
12:55 PM
50%
50%

RIM Scrubs Spyware From UAE BlackBerrys

Users complained a firmware update -- unauthorized by RIM -- had led to decreased battery life and system crashes.

Research In Motion has issued a fix for a firmware update by a United Arab Emirates carrier that potentially enabled the cellular service provider to spy on its BlackBerry users.

The carrier Etisalat has over 145,000 BlackBerry users on its network, and it offered these customers an over-the-air software update a few weeks ago that was aimed at improving performance. Users complained the update had negative impacts on the handset, and it led to decreased battery life, as well as system crashes.

The update was identified as a mobile application developed by SS8, which specializes in electronic surveillance and law enforcement products. RIM said this app is a telecommunication surveillance program that could potentially allow unauthorized access to data on the handset, including e-mails, and personal information.

"The Etisalat update is not a RIM-authorized update and was not developed by RIM," the BlackBerry-maker said in a note to customers. "Independent sources have concluded that the Etisalat update is not designed to improve performance of your BlackBerry handheld, but rather to send messages back to a central server."

In a statement last week, Etisalat said the issues with handsets were minor technical issues, and that the "upgrades were required for service enhancements." The mobile operator also said the update was needed to help ease the transition from 2G to 3G networks. BlackBerry users on rival Du's network have not faced the same issues.

BlackBerry users on Etisalat's network can go to RIM's Web site to download software that will remove the surveillance application.


Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
Stay-at-Home Orders Coincide With Massive DNS Surge
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Can you smell me now?
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-11844
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
There is an Incorrect Authorization vulnerability in Micro Focus Service Management Automation (SMA) product affecting version 2018.05 to 2020.02. The vulnerability could be exploited to provide unauthorized access to the Container Deployment Foundation.
CVE-2020-6937
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
A Denial of Service vulnerability in MuleSoft Mule CE/EE 3.8.x, 3.9.x, and 4.x released before April 7, 2020, could allow remote attackers to submit data which can lead to resource exhaustion.
CVE-2020-7648
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.72.2 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads for users who have access to Snyk's internal network by appending the URL with a fragment identifier and a whitelisted path e.g. `#package.json`
CVE-2020-7650
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker after 4.72.0 including and before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Arbitrary File Read. It allows arbitrary file reads to users with access to Snyk's internal network of any files ending in the following extensions: yaml, yml or json.
CVE-2020-7654
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
All versions of snyk-broker before 4.73.1 are vulnerable to Information Exposure. It logs private keys if logging level is set to DEBUG.