SMobile security report acusations

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Today there were a lot of hysterical articles and heated discussions about Android security on Internet. Cnet, ZDNet, Information Week, PC World all participated. All today's articles have the same original source, a security report from a company called SMobile .

I finally decided to study SMobile's findings and noted the following statement (page 6 of a report http://goo.gl/Wxv2 :

Let’s take an example from an application SMobile identified as spyware, but has remained in the Android Market for months:

SMS Message Spy Pro and SMS Message Spy Lite are similar spyware applications from the same developer. SMS Message Spy Pro/Lite were both developed by Carrot App. The Pro version of this spyware application is the full, paid version. The Lite version is currently listed in the Market as free, but it expires in seven days. SMS Message Spy Lite can be considered a trial version of the Pro variant.

SMS Spy was labeled and is detected by SMobile’s Security Shield as spyware. This application could allow an attacker to monitor the SMS communications of an unsuspecting user. Notice the READ_SMS, and RECEIVE_SMS permissions.

Let me ask you directly: are your company a malicious author of real evil spyware? What could you say to disseminate SMobile accusations? I think it would be helpful for your company as well, because thousands of Android users are now reading SMobile report.

Thank you,
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vkelman

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Posted 7 years ago

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Support Guru, Company Admin

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I am shocked to heard this. How can they just attack others to market themselves?

And the accusation is completely absurd.

I did not hide anything about the function of "sms spy" from end-users. In the market description of "sms spy" app, its function was stated very clearly. "It forwards your messages to an email address", which has to be entered into the app after its installation. People who downloads this app have completely control of it. They can enable/disable the forward and they decide the email address.

Most people don't install cameras in their house and then watch it remotely. But when they do, there is nothing wrong. It's their property and they have the right to do so.

Maybe its name is a little misleading. Typical negative comments I get is like " This is fake! It only spy yourself! " Several thousand people try the demo but only less than 50 people buy it. Probably because they realize they can not use it to spy others.

This SMobile is not just a security research company. Their main product is a software called "Security Shield". I think this explains well why they exaggerate the security problem on Android.

Even more funny, this "Security Shield" has a function called "Monitor&Control", which "manage your child's phone including text messages and photos". Aha~ Same idea and same function with a different name. How come they are security expert and I am a spyware author?

You know, I have to say that this report is actually a good news for android users. Because the most evil app they find on Market after "some research" is" sms spy", which is just a parent control app!