The Fuzzy Treatment: How You Too Can Abuse Your Domestic Partner For Only $50 a Year!
This is a discussion on The Fuzzy Treatment: How You Too Can Abuse Your Domestic Partner For Only $50 a Year! within the Android News forums, part of the Android.net category; A company called Retina Software Private Limited recently released a new version of their domestic abuse tool, er, spyware, um, app for all modern mobile ...
The Fuzzy Treatment: How You Too Can Abuse Your Domestic Partner For Only $50 a Year!
A company called Retina Software Private Limited recently released a new version of their domestic abuse tool, er, spyware, um, app for all modern mobile OSes -- Blackberry, iOS, Symbain, Windows Mobile 6 (but not 7, yet) and unfortunately now Android as well.
This particularly terrifying threat to privacy isn't limited to one phone, either. These upstanding citizens proclaim exactly what phones they've checked their software out on.
If you don't feel like clicking a link, a list of the other guaranteed-compatible Android phones can be located at the end. Have fun finding your phone. But before we continue I want to point out the following key phrases in the above statement: GPS and stealth.
ePhoneTracker is the professional spy software for the Android. The version for Android includes the ability to monitor text messages, call information and GPS locations in complete stealth. It is currently compatible with most Android devices running versions 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2 of the Android OS.
The Android version of ePhoneTracker works with most Android devices, including the HTC Evo 4G and Droid X!
So, are your bowels clenched yet? They should be. Allow me to explain.
McAfee researcher Anna Stepanov warned us in a 2008 whitepaper entitled Spyware: A Morphing Campaign.
Just think about how much you use your cellphone. Now think about some sleazy, slimy, creepy guy having access to all of your data, right down to the GPS location, and you having no way to find out if this is the case. No, we're not talking Big Brother here. What if it was your boyfriend? Your girlfriend? Wife? Husband? Because that's who this particular piece of crapware is aimed at -- all out of fear, or a need to control. That shiver running up your spine isn't a good one, now is it?
"With so much of our lives dependent on computers and other technologies such as cell phones, the use of spyware is ideal for abusers, who often feel the need to control all aspects of a victimís existence. Monitoring a victimís online, cell phone, or general computing activity is of more value than ever in controlling or hurting a victim."
I'm going to let you digest that little nugget o' fun while we move on to the other side of the debate. This is what Retina Software Private Limited says about their domestic abuse tool.
"Your smartphone", eh? Then why do they try to defend this particular editorial by stating the following:
Track EVERY text, EVERY call and EVERY Move They Makes
Using our EASY Cell Phone Spy Software!
Worried about your spouse cheating? Concerned with who your child communicates with while your away? You suspect your employees are abusing their company phone privileges?
ePhoneTracker is the ultimate solution for monitoring all the activity that occurs on your smartphone! This application will provide you with the proof you need to confirm your suspicions.
Forgetting for the moment how sexist a remark that actually is, let's point out that they said "your" smartphone, not "your spouse's". Think about that for a minute. They certainly did:
70% of married women and 54% of married men never know about their spouse's affair.
Did any of that make you feel safer? It didn't me. How many stalker victims go to the cops? How many people would go to the cops if they have no proof they were being spied-upon? Because this lovely chunk of spyware was written explicitly to prevent there being any proof! I mean, honestly, if you had a big ol' warning sitting in the middle of the screen that "Your Husband Thinks You're Cheating On Him So Everything This Phone Does Is Being Monitored And Reported" would you still use your phone? Heck no, and neither would I! (Though I would wonder when I picked up a husband... After all, I'm not dating any guys at the moment. Or ever.) So, all that legal-ese means that, in the event the police DO contact them, they're covered. It also means they know their product is going to be abused, because who in their right mind is going to give their lover their SO's phone number to send sexts and pictures of their naughty bits too. After all, nobody would dare sell a product they knew would be abused, right?
1. You acknowledge and agree that you own the mobile phone you will install the software onto OR that you have the expressed written consent of the owner to be an authorized administrator of the phone and its users.
2. If you install our software onto a phone which you do not own or have proper consent, we will cooperate with law officials to the fullest extent possible. This includes turning over requested customer data, and any other purchase/product related information.
Now, what do they charge for this particular service? $50/year, which they will, for your convenience automatically renew, unless you cancel, with a recurring fee on your credit card. But, just to prove that these sleazy operators aren't totally heartless, the recurring payment will stop once the full sum of $10,000 has been reached. At $50/year that's 200 years. Let's face it, if you're still using the same phone 200 years from now then I don't think you'll be having many dates in the first place. Nevermind the fact that if you haven't caught your spouse cheating after a solid year of monitoring the chances are you're either a complete idiot -- or they're not cheating. Now think about the damage to the relationship YOU just caused. Thank you, ePhoneTracker!
Moving on, I still haven't reached the limit of the the douchebaggery this company is willing to achieve, or is capable of achieving. Check out this FUD that we can attribute to one particular member of their team. Gerald Carvey, VP of Product Development, has been quoted as saying the following:
Really. What statistics? I don't see any that back up what you're saying. And, let's face it, everyone at some point in any long-term relationship has wondered if their significant other was cheating on them. I know divorce rates are pretty high here in the ol' US of A, but if what Gerald says is true... Wow. I'm impressed. Then again, maybe it's just people who would use crap like this instead of, I don't know, talking to their loved ones that seem to have bad relationships. I'm just saying, folks. Maybe if you talked to your girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, husbands, mistresses, back door men, and sheep instead of spying on them you might find you can trust them -- instead of driving them away from you with suspicion.
If you think your spouse is cheating, then statistics state you are probably correct. Cell phones are the primary communication tool for affairs. Our software allows you to expose the truth to see whether or not your suspicions are accurate.
Anyway, let's look at things a bit differently. This particular privacy-raper isn't the first, nor will it be the last. Sadly, as long as there's technology there will be abuses of it. Software can always be decompiled, leading to this monstrous infection of the Symbian operating system in China: 150,000+ devices are infected with a variant of FlexiSpy called XWodi. If we extrapolate this, we see the threat this class of commercially-developed software actually poses to the average user. Even with Android having much tighter security, all it takes to make this a huge problem is someone tacking a home-brew version of the decompiled code ripped from this kind of craptastic app onto a cheesy game or LWP or anything else and a couple thousand people installing it. BAM. Instant data mining, instant privacy-rape, instant spam across the board.
Ah, ePhoneTracker, thy power to grant warm fuzzies amazes me. Let me bear your children!
So, how does one protect their phone against this threat? Well, upon looking for instructions on how to install this on an Android phone I ran into the brick wall of needing to set up an account (and sorry, the Mammal here won't create and burn an e-mail account just to do that), but I did learn two things. First, physical access to the phone is required to install this garbage, and second, the information to install it is accessed via a website that's a part of the SpouseSpy - Catch your cheating spouse with cell phone spy software! site. Of course, they want $30 more per year for their software. In their defense, they do try to sell things a bit harder too.
I think the lesson we should take away from this is that if you're having an affair/cheating on your SO, then the best course of action is to not accept any new phones your "loved one" may be giving you, and never let your beloved smartphone out of your sight! Sounds to me like a job for TracFone! After all, isn't the security of your extra-marital activities worth a measly $30/month? $50/month if you get a new phone every month instead of just refilling the old one?
Don't have a compatible phone?
If you do not own a compatible phone, then consider purchasing one at a technology store, any mobile phone retailer, or even on eBay. They can be as little as $100.00, which is a small price to pay to learn the truth. Some visitors have asked us to recommend a phone that is simple to use, easy to install upon, and is compatible
Now, how do you protect yourself against your jealous boyfriend from stealing your phone while you sleep and infecting it with this garbage? Lock the phone down. Set up the security to only wake the phone up with a PIN, or a gesture. Look in the app store for security programs that clamp down on the phone. What if you think your phone is infected already? Check your app manager for anything you don't recognize, running services for anything that looks suspicious, and a Google search can't explain away. Do a factory reset to get rid of it. And if you do find out you have this or any other spyware installed, go to the cops. There are laws against stalking, and installing something like this without your permission is illegal.
As promised, here's the list of phones that our friends have proven are compatible with their software. And just because your phone isn't listed doesn't mean it's safe. After all, the Samsung Fascinate is just the Verizon version of the Galaxy S.
Acer Liquid A1
Acer Liquid Metal
ARCHOS Phone Tablet
Dell Mini 3ix
HKC Imobile v413
HTC Droid Incredible
HTC Evo 4G
Motorola CLIQ XT
Motorola Droid 2
Motorola Droid X
Pantech Sirius Sky
Samsung Behold 2
Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung InstinctQ m900
Sony Ericsson Xperia X3
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
T-Mobile G2 Touch
T-Mobile MyTouch 3G
T-Mobile MyTouch 4G
T-Mobile MyTouch Slide
Last edited by furbearingmammal; 03-01-2011 at 12:13 AM.
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Oy! I'm such a big flirt, my wife texts me to remind me to enable my latitude so she can track my movements!
Solution #2: Swap SIM to another phone when misbehaving...Solution #1: Don't misbehave.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder
Solution #1 Definitely
Originally Posted by alphawave7
Dang, thanks for the heads up haha... Altho this is not the first app (like you said), but it's good to know what they're able to do... I don't plan on doing anything to make my gf go down this route, but if I suspect it, I'll be wiping my phone daily lol.
Android Sr Member
So is it an app installed on the victim's phone? OR do you pay the money to the company and all you have to do is give them the victim's phone number? And the company remotely installs some background files?
Because I could see companies or scam artists using this with very bad outcomes.
Edit: First, physical access to the phone is required to install this garbage
thorough reading helps answer my own question.
Still scary technology if it gets into the wrong hands and embedded in a common app..
Last edited by DroidCoug; 03-01-2011 at 10:34 AM.
Android Jr Member
I wonder how fast someone is going to create a blocker for this creepy software.
I think the carriers should be required by law to prevent apps like this from reporting, but unless they're pinging a specific IP, it'd be hard to do it. Even if they blocked the sites from installing, they could still be side-loaded from another internet connction; it'd make it harder, but not impossible, to install. A dedicated attack on someone's privacy will circumvent a carrier every time.
Originally Posted by SingingSabre
Scary thought, though -- a fake "blocker" app that does the exact same thing.
yet another reason to (as you said) communicate and foster a healthy relationship with your SO (most will not want to cheat if this is the case)... to screw over "companies" like this
I also think this would apply the same for parents checking on their teenagers. Better to come to an understanding rather than spy and stalk them. I'm not a parent, I admit..but I think it's going too far to have technology that allows for parental (or spousal) stalking. Supposedly there's technology in cars (Ford?) where parents can track the movement and speed of a vehicle as well as log top speed,etc., and there I can see some usefulness, since a car is a dangerous weapon,etc...but that's where I'd draw the line. This other stuff is just obnoxious and invasive, imho.
Originally Posted by jntdroid
Beauty is in the eyes of the beerholder
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