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The rising popularity of smartphones such as the BlackBerry and the iPhone will make them ... Smartphone News forum

  1. #1
    cherrichiodo's Avatar
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    Spammers poised to target BlackBerry and iPhone owners

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    The rising popularity of smartphones such as the BlackBerry and the iPhone will make them targets for viruses and spam, security experts believe.

    In the past few years the internet has experienced a huge rise in security problems, led by criminal gangs who have used spam and viruses for financial scams. Mobile phones have remained relatively unscathed, but that is set to change as sales of smartphones surge.

    In the first three months of this year 32.2 million smartphones were sold - 11 per cent of all handset sales and a 29 per cent increase on the same period last year.

    These e-mail and internet-enabled handsets are moving out of the corporate market into consumers' hands, and the recent launch of the 3G iPhone is expected to fuel sales further. Credit Suisse analysts predict that 275 million smartphones will be sold next year, boosting penetration to 19 per cent and making the mobile world attractive to criminals.

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    kieranwest's Avatar
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    While I don't doubt that the Iphone and BlackBerries will become target for attackers(Regarding Viruses) I find it quite unlikely for the BlackBerry platform to become comprimised. RIM has but many featues into its design to ensure compliance and protection from the ground up. With the tracking of sensitive API's (Through Mandatory code signing), Application Permissions, Firewall as well as well as other proprietary tracking abilities it makes it a very secure platform. Even if it did somehow become comprimised the sensitive API tracking would allow to easily find the perpetrator and to prosecute the individual responsible.

    Please be aware that my post is addressing only the virus part of this article and am in no way disagreeing that the BlackBerry or IPhone can easily be spammed.

    Now for the Iphone I am not a developer or partner and am pretty blind in this area so I cannot comment, if somebody else would like to enlighten me on the security I'd love a lesson

    Thank you Cherrichiodo for this interesting post
    Last edited by kieranwest; 06-30-2008 at 06:07 AM.

  3. #3
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    No!!!!!!!!!
    I don't want a virus in my BlackBerry!!
    I had 2 years ago a Nokia 6670 and I don't know how, it got infected with a virus and the only posinle solutions was to buy a 120 bucks anti-virus software or delete absolute everything and, of course I went for the second choice, and it was a pain in the ***.
    I don't wanna have that problem in my Pearl!!

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

  4. #4
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    They can try to attack blackberries, Ever since I have gotten my BB i haven't received one bit of spam.......knock on wood...

    Know my friend...she has an Iphone and she gets it everyday.

  5. #5
    mjwood0's Avatar
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    The amount of spam received on your BlackBerry has nothing to do with the BlackBerry software or even the BIS as Kieranwest was alluding to.

    It has everything to do with how you setup your e-mail accounts and which accounts you have setup through BIS. (I'm purposely leaving out BES as email there is directly controlled by your admins and you really can't do much about that yourself.)

    Off the top of my head, a few options for reducing spam are as follows:
    1. Use a email provider with good spam filtering and don't have those messages forward to your Berry.
    2. Have two e-mail accounts -- one for business/friends/family, and one that you can give out to online merchants and the like. Only forward the real account to you BB.
    3. Don't give out your blackberry.net address.
    4. If you have your own domain (which I strongly suggest if you really want to get rid of spam), run (and properly train) Spam Assassin or other quality spam filtering software.
    I have implemented #4. On my domain, I have setup a sub-domain called mail. I then forward all mail to any address in this sub-domain to my regular address. Therefore, I can make up any address I want with a @mail.domain.com address and it will get to my address.

    This does two things. First, it allows me to see who's selling my address. If I go to Lowes and they want my e-mail address for something, I make up an address such as mjwood0_lowes@mail.domain.com. Down the line, if I get spam to this address, I know Lowes sold my address (hypothetical situation -- not picking on Lowes). I can then blacklist all mail to that address and I'm set. No more spam.

    This practice, coupled with a properly trained Spam Assassin seems to keep my spam to a bare minimum.

    A few links:
    How to train Spam Assassin

    How to forward mail to you blackberry.net address so you don't have to give it out.

    Federal Trade Commission re: Spam
    As always, just my opinion...
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  6. #6
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    I've gotten spam on my BlackBerry before but nothing a quick trip to My T-Mobile via Opera Mini couldn't fix. I had the email addy blocked in a couple of minutes. No spam since.

    As for the virus portion, while I can't say it is impossible, it is very unlikely that the security of a RIM device could be compromised, at least not very easily, especially from a remote source. I know of a few Nokia viruses (as one effected my 5300 Xpress Music last year), but let's face it: Nokia hasn't done much to upgrade their OS in years.

    Just be careful what you download!

  7. #7
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    While the security of BlackBerry devices makes it difficult to attack them with viruses.....another big defense we have is our online community here on Pinstack. We have Hayden, the best Mods, and our fellow stackers to post every bit of news almost as soon as it gets released.


    As long as we stay active here on the stacks, we will see when there's trouble, have the source posted, and be able to better protect ourselves/each other, and our beloved BBs.

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

  8. #8
    DjSmooth's Avatar
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    Thanks Cherri for sharing this Article, and Thanks Mjwood for the thought provoking work around, very good idea that #4; will have to take some time to put it to use, and Azstar, you are so right, one way to keep BB problems at bay is to stay active on Pinstack...

  9. #9
    j llama's Avatar
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    My BB will elbow drop a Spammer in the face. (twice)
    BlackBerry® Certified Support Specialist

  10. #10
    macallik's Avatar
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    Interesting article. Mjwood0 made some great points.

  11. #11
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    Thanks all for the kind words.

    I used to hate spam and get really upset about it. Doing some research showed me that there is really no way to totally avoid it and that I should just learn to live with it.

    Sooner or later, your e-mail addresses are going to got into the hands of a spammer. The harder you make this the better (hence my recommendation of the address@mail.domain.com -- keeps the real address hidden). Spam Assassin is great and I highly recommend it. Properly trained, even my worst spam addresses seem to be spam-free! I couldn't be happier.

    The only issue I do have is that sometimes legit mail goes to the spam folder. This mainly happens if people use a lot of swearing or vulgar language or their domain is setup wrong so it looks that there mail is being forwarded. Both of these things trigger filters in Spam Assassin. However, you can adjust Spam Assassin to assign different point values to different triggers and with a little fine tuning, this is a rarity now too.

    A week or two of tweaking has saved me much agony!

    Edit to add: This is a great tool for those with their own domain. It makes training Spam Assassin as easy as dragging mail to an IMAP box!
    Last edited by mjwood0; 06-30-2008 at 11:42 AM.
    As always, just my opinion...
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  12. #12
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    mjwood! awesome posts! i am going to check out spamassasin for my domain email.

    GREAT ways to avoid spam too! for instance, your email in your siggy i try to PM or even edit posts where i find people posting thier complete emails. that's a spam bot waiting to happen.

    AND ... i don't give out my bb email address AT ALL...so i don't get spam on that one at least

  13. #13
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    No problem! Been there, done that, don't want to go back to a spam filled inbox.

    Most hosts have spam assassin as an option. I would not recommend filtering to a junk mail box or spam box until you've run with it a while. You can have it add a string to the message title (such as **SPAM**) and do nothing with it. That way, you can see if it's flagging the proper messages.

    Also, it will show you the points it assigned to items which may be "suspect" in the mail. Knowing this, you can see why it thinks it spam and try to solve any potential problems. Once you have it trained pretty well, then I would enable the spam box option.

    I've helped multiple friends fix their email. Many of them were sending from a mail server which didn't match their domain. Not that this is wrong, but can attribute to their frustration as their e-mails end up in people's junk folders.

    If you have any questions, let me know. I'm no expert, but I've gone through this. The IMAP folder option looks way easier than how I did it! So long as your host allows you to create cron jobs you can probably get it to work. You may need shell access though...

    Good luck!
    As always, just my opinion...
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  14. #14
    kieranwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwood0 View Post
    The amount of spam received on your BlackBerry has nothing to do with the BlackBerry software or even the BIS as Kieranwest was alluding to.
    I wasn't really trying to allude anything regarding email spam.... I was focused directly with the Security of the BlackBerry in regards to viruses. I simply put that one liner in there so I wouldn't get responses such as asking how a secure API can prevent SPAM, lol...Mainly for clarification purposes. I do agree with you though SPAM problems are not directly related to the BlackBerry or BIS software, it all comes down to adequate SPAM filtering on the mail side of things.

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