Feeds

iPhone app grabs your mobile number

There's an app for that, and it knows where you live

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Customers of ID Mobile's MogoRoad iPhone application are complaining that they're getting sales calls from the company, a process which turns out to be technically a piece of cake.

The proof of concept was put together by Mac4Ever who created an iPhone app which displays the handset's phone number. Passing that back to a server is obviously trivial, and could easily trigger the kind of sales calls about which downloaders of MogoRoad are complaining.

Grabbed phone number screen shot

Mac4Ever demonstrating how easy it is to grab a phone number

Users commenting on the Swiss iTunes store are upset that their personal data has been uploaded*, and is being used to try and sell them stuff.

Programmatically reading a mobile phone number is generally quite hard, because mobile phones have no real reason to know their own number. SIMs store an IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Number) which is unique to every user, and can usefully be utilised for basic copy protection, but the mapping between that and the mobile phone number is done by the operator - the mobile phone responds to connections routed to the IMSI, so it has no reason to know its own number.

But there are uses for such a thing, and it seems the later versions of the iPhone SDK include a call to retrieve the number, with all the privacy concerns that implies. Apple works hard to ensure that the customer's relationship is with Apple, and no one else, so it's hard to imagine that behaviour like this isn't going attract attention from Cupertino.

We contacted Apple, and ID Mobile, but neither of them has yet got back to us on the matter. ®

* ID Mobile has now been in touch, and tells us that numbers are harvested by sending an SMS and snagging the sender's number on receipt, rather than the clever tricks demonstrated by Mac4Ever, but the threat, and the customer irritation, both remain.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.