BlackBerry mobile phone users in the United Arab Emirates recently received an official update for their devices coming from the wireless carrier Etisalat, but they discovered that the new software was, in fact, a spyware solution. The main issue with the “performance enhancement patch” that was sent to users via a WAP Push was the fact that it was reportedly draining the battery life from their devices, thus leading to the discovery of the malicious software.

As previously reported on the matter, the carrier accidentally sent the spyware software to its customers, and not on purpose. The software, which was capable of intercepting messages and emails sent from the BlackBerry device, was believed to have been developed for the surveillance of specific individuals. The app seems to have been created by SS8, a developer of lawful communication interception software.
Etisalat customers that have been affected by this situation have a series of options that will help them remove the malicious software from their BlackBerry devices. One of them can be found on the BlackBerry forums, and includes the downloading of a .zip archive that comes from Tbilisoft and the launching of a “Remove Registration.bat” file. According to some of those who tried it out, it works just fine. And it is also free.
Another solution for this problem comes from SMobile Systems, the company that delivers the only Antivirus/AntiSpyware solution for BlackBerry. Users can head to the company's site and acquire either the SMobile Security Shield or the Anti-Theft and Identity Protection software. The spyware should be removed from the device as soon one of these apps is up and running, and they will also take care of other malicious applications that are present there.
“The truth about smartphones is that they are used in the same manner as personal computers and are susceptible to the same threats. It has become clear that smartphone users need to proactively ensure their devices contain the necessary security software to protect not only their e-mail and messaging data, but also to protect their identity and the integrity of their mobile financial transactions,” Dan Hoffman, CTO of SMobile Systems, states, cited by blackberrycool.


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