Last week it was discovered that a number of popular iPhone apps were invading users’ privacy and uploading entire address books to external servers. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses, and the offending apps never asked for permission to transfer this sensitive data. A group of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the International Security Systems Lab began a study last year to discover how and where iPhone apps were transmitting data, reports Forbes. The team found that one in five free apps in Apple’s App Store was uploading private data to external servers, and apps from Cydia, an app store for jailbroken iPhones, would leak private data less frequently than Apple-approved apps. Read on for more. More →
In a move that should surprise no one, Apple has banned the “Big Brother Camera Security” app that developer Daniel Amity used to swipe his customers’ passcodes. BGR reported on Tuesday about an application that attempted to trick users into setting a passcode identical to the pin used to lock their iPhones. The app then transmitted the PIN numbers in the background to the developer — albeit anonymously — who used them to publish a report covering the most commonly used iPhone passcodes. While the developer’s intentions hardly seemed malicious, there was no way Apple was going to sit back and watch while a developer published data about private PINs, even if they could not be directly tied to individual iPhone users. As such, the app has been banned from the App Store. “As of today at 4:58pm EST, Big Brother has been removed from the App Store,” Amity wrote in a blog post. “I’m certainly not happy about it, but considering the concerns a few people have expressed regarding the transfer of data from app to my server, it is understandable.” More →
Google on Thursday finally took the wraps off its Google Wallet and Google Offers services, which offer an NFC-based contactless payment system married with a location-based local coupon service. On the same day, eBay and its online payment arm PayPal filed a lawsuit against Google and two of its executives for stealing trade secrets relating to mobile payments. Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, both of whom were heavily involved in the development of the Google Wallet service, were named in the suit. Beider and Tilenius were formerly PayPal employees who left the company to join Google and help build Google Wallet. Both executives were with PayPal for the better part of a decade, and Bedier was most recently vice president of platform, mobile and new ventures. The suit accuses Bedier of having “misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google and to major retailers,” and it alleges that Tilenius broke a contractual agreement with eBay by recruiting Bedier once moving to Google. More →
HP on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Adrian Jones, the company’s former head of enterprise sales for the Asia region, to stop him from sharing hundreds of documents he allegedly stole before leaving the company and joining his current employer, Oracle. HP said it had planned to fire Jones earlier this year after having launched an investigation into his expense reports and his alleged relationship with another HP employee who worked beneath him. Jones left the company, however, and HP alleges that he took hundreds of confidential documents, emails and various customer records with him on a USB drive. In the lawsuit, HP calls for the return of all data and seeks damages resulting from the theft of trade secrets. The allegations of fraudulent expenses and inappropriate behavior with a subordinate are strikingly similar to those made against against former CEO Mark Hurd before he was forced to resign last year. Like Jones, Hurd now holds an executive role at Oracle. More →
As sad as it is, it should be no surprise to anyone that theft is a pretty regular occurrence in the electronics industry. Though most mobile retailers take plenty of measures to prevent losses, it’s not possible to keep it from happening 100% of the time. When you’re dealing with third-party retailers and authorized dealers it really becomes difficult to keep all inventory safe as the carrier. So, Rogers is allegedly going to begin taking advantage of an EIR, or Equipment Identity Register, which logs reports of stolen mobile devices and keeps them from being used. According to an internal Rogers document courtesy of one of our ninjas, if a phone is stolen and the IMEI is identified, Rogers will input it into the international registry which prevents it from being used on over 40 GSM networks worldwide. Unless you’re in some obscure country that uses a tiny GSM network, consider yourself out of luck if you have a stolen Rogers device in your hands. For Rogers, the days of the five-finger-discount are over. Hit the link for a copy of the internal document detailing the deterrence plan.