Saturday, August 08, 2009

I encounter an apparent Blackberry glitch: a way personal information could leak


Something bizarre happened with my Blackberry today that sounds like another identity security peril. I placed a sensitive call and left a message, having used the white tracking ball to bring up the number. I believe that I got the usual greeting for that number.

When I put it back on my belt, somehow the cursor moved and it playing back some recorded instructions. I looked at the call log, and it said that the call had been placed to another number, an 800 number for a bank. I logged on to my Verizon account and today’s call log did not show yet. Furthermore, the record of the earlier call to the correct number disappeared, and the call count got added in to the wrong number.

It’s conceivable that personal information could have been left with a wrong number. I’ll have to find out from the right party if it actually got one or two calls from me. I really think it got two calls, and it will turn out that this is a Blackberry software bug of some kind. But it could represent a serious security problem for some people in some circumstances.

As a movie title says, “something wicked this way comes.” Hopefully the Secret Service as eliminated any software bugs from president Obama's Blackberry, but it’s easy to imagine how something like this could be a security problem in military or diplomatic situations, too.

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