DUBAI, (AFP) — The makers of BlackBerry have charged that an update issued by UAE telecommunications company Etisalat was actually spyware, the local press reported on Wednesday.
BlackBerry’s parent company Research in Motion said the software offered by Etisalat could “enable unauthorised access to private or confidential information stored on the user’s smartphone,” according to a statement carried in several newspapers.
“RIM confirms that this software is not a patch and it is not a RIM-authorised upgrade. RIM did not develop this software application and RIM was not involved in any way in the testing, promotion or distribution of this software application,” it said.
There was no immediate comment from Etisalat, which offered the “performance enhancing” patch to the 145,000 BlackBerry users on its network about two weeks ago.
The Khaleej Times newspaper said the “snifferware” could intercept emails and drain battery life quickly, with more than 300 users reporting that the phone had been rendered useless with the battery dying in less than 60 minutes.