Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Dangerous Apps: A Public Service Announcement

Y'all know I've been having way too much fun with my new phone because I blogged about it here.

There are so many cool apps, many if not most of them free, that actually "being a phone" has become a small fraction of what this gadget in my pocket can actually do.

But in my search for cool apps, I stumbled upon some pretty scarey stuff that I want to warn you about.

It started when I searched for a voice recorder so I could record reminders for myself. Like "buy milk" or "download porn".

I quickly started finding things like "Stealth Recorder" The desciption says

"Use Shadyface Stealth Recorder to invisibly record audio conversations in the background! Use it to spy on friends, coworkers, your boss, your parents and your teachers! Leave it on the table and they'll have no idea.

Straight up Jason Bourne type stuff. Badass."


OK, that's a little bit scary, but mostly harmless, right?

But right after that was the Spy Recorder app which describes itself thusly:

"Do you need to Spy on someone? Is your boyfriend/girlfriend cheating on you? Are your boss or coworkers talking about you? Do you talk in your sleep? Are there ghosts while your sleeping?

If so, download the Spy Recorder to secretly record audio with your phone! Only Records when the sound level is above a threshold."


Not quite innocent fun and games anymore, is it?

But wait. It get's worse.

There is an app called M-Surveillance-Free.

"This application helps you to record audio and capture pictures, from THIS phone even when THIS phone is not physically present with you.

This application invokes the audio recorder or camera appication when it receives an SMS [text message] from a specified mobile phone. Paid version supports video and auto upload to YouTube."


OK, think about this.

It doesn't cost that much for someone to add a line to their phone plan because the phone companies encourage it. Add a line, get a phone cheap.

They could download a surveillance app to the phone and hide it in your home.

They could spy on you whenever they wanted by sending a text message to that phone and it would start recording video and audio. The paid version of the app could even upload the video to YouTube.

That's frightening. Especially when combined with the GPS Tracking capability.

So be careful and be aware.

That "cell phone" sitting on your coffee table or "lost" in the seat cushion of your car might be up to more mischief than is readily apparent.

Be safe.

2 comments:

emawkc said...

I agree with you. These kinds of apps should be banned. Spying on Americans is only okay if the government is doing it.

Hyperblogal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.