Feeds

iPhone app grabs your mobile number

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

New hybrid storage solutions

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.