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Spat over cell-phone spy program
Published: 2006-03-30

Software maker Vervata chirstened its application "the world's first spy software built exclusively for mobile phones," but at least antivirus firm dubbed the code a Trojan horse.

The program, FlexiSPY, can be installed on any Symbian-based mobile phone--say, one used by a son, daughter or spouse--and then uploads call data and SMS messages to a central server account. Security software firm F-Secure highlighted the program on the company's researcher blog, saying that its antivirus software would now recognize FlexiSPY as malware.

"The company claims that it's a useful tool for catching a cheating spouse," security researcher Jarno Niemelä said in the post. "By installing the application on the phone they can monitor to whom the victim is calling and what SMS messages he or she is sending."

Bangkok, Thailand-based Vervata took issue with the pejorative label on its Web site.

"FlexiSPY is not a virus or Trojan," the company stated. "FlexiSPY requires (the software) to be consciously installed and configured by someone, unlike a virus or Trojan which spreads automatically without any action."

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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Spat over cell-phone spy program 2006-04-04
Deborah Ross


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