Hackers turn Palm Pre into secret bugging device

Hackers turn Palm Pre into secret bugging device
Hackers turn Palm Pre into secret bugging device

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By Stephen Foley
13 August 2010

A British internet security company has demonstrated how to turn the 
Palm Pre into a secret bugging device, ideal for corporate espionage, 
and issued a warning that many other popular smartphones are also 
vulnerable to hackers.

In-house hackers at Basingstoke-based MWR InfoSecurity have created a 
bug hidden in an electronic business card, or vcard, which enabled them 
to use the Pre to record conversations and send the audio file back to 
them, whenever it is connected to a WiFi or 3G network =E2=80=93 all without the 
user being aware anything at all is happening.

The company's 26-year-old principal security researcher =E2=80=93 who gives his 
name only as Nils, and who was hired by MWR last year after having been 
a freelance hacker since his teens =E2=80=93 demonstrated the security flaw in 
the Pre to journalists and IT specialists this week, saying the phone 
was "easy" to break into.

Hewlett-Packard acquired Palm two months ago, in part so it could use 
the Pre operating system on future smartphones.


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