BlackBerry are relatively safe from most virus and attack risks but a recent presentation at the Hack in a Box conference in Kuala Lumpur highlights a different risk vector, spyware. Sheran Gunasekera, head of R&D at ZenConsult, pointed out at the conference that the risk for BlackBerrys is the person using them. Installing applications can open the door to risks such as forwarding your emails to a hacker or them viewing your private information or GPS coordinates.
The carrier released Etisalat “registration” update that was highlighted a few months back is a perfect case in point. RIM provided a fix for this carriers update that let the carrier spy on consumers BlackBerrys. This is kind of like how all those smiley applications for Windows install spyware on your computer. Imagine if the next free game you download has some hidden code that copies your whole phone book while you are playing and offloads it to a hacker.
In short the lesson of the day is to be wary of installing applications from unknown vendors. If you do you open yourself up to potential risks and compromise. You can also set default permission levels on your applications to restrict what applications have access to and this is the wise thing to do.
via Computer World