back to article iPhone app grabs your mobile number

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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Jobs Horns

Just Keep Paying Them

When has Apple ever worried in the slightest about the iDiots who buy this crap?

0
0
FAIL

Apple - securtty first

Now excuse me whilst I proceed to roll on the floor laughing my ass off for the next thirty minutes..

0
0
Anonymous Coward

1st kill app

Time for Apple to do the decent thing and remotely kill this app from all phones - that's why they hide the remote kill app in the 1st place isn't it ?

And how did this app get approval for doing something illegal ?

0
0

So an iPhone app can

send an SMS without you being aware - isn't that quite a security hole too ?

0
0
Headmaster

English as she is spoke

I think they word they meant to use in the example shown is "captured" or possible "caught".

0
0
Silver badge
Troll

Dealing with telemarketers

I am just getting into the habit (which transcends every nicety of behaviour I was ever raised to) of wasting telemarketer's time (well hey! they opted in to it by calling me - and I AM on my national DO NOT CALL register).

Simplest is to put the phone down (still off the hook) and ignore it for a few minutes while they waste their time and not yours, then hang up.

For advanced users - a long string of uh-huhs until they finish their spiel and then hanging up is good - keeping on doing what you are doing while pretending to listen is a skill that takes practice, though some people on my work's IT help-desk seem to have mastered it fully.

I have read of going along with them until they get to the payment part and saying "just a sec while I go get my card" then off-hooking them. Apparently they will wait ages on their commissioned time for you to return. Haven't tried this yet - my phone-bad-manners-foo is not that strong yet!

I seem to be getting less and less telemarketing calls over time. Hopefully I am being blacklisted.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Apple won't care

They will probably be raising an eyebrow in interest to see if it can be turned into a paid for service they can offer their flock (sorry customer base).

0
0

@ LaeMi Qian

My ageing father went so far as to arrange for a double glazier to come all the way out to his house (in the countryside) before telling him in person he didnt actually want any double glazing and only wished to waste the companies time. Now thats aggressive behaviour.

0
0

telemarketers technique

My technique for telemarketers is to just say "yes" to absolutely everything, no exceptions. Supremely irritating for the person on the other phone, because they think they're getting somewhere but then when they have to deal with a person who gives their name as "yes" and address as "yes" they get very confused.

0
0
JBR
Thumb Up

telemarketer torture

http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+Telemarketer+Torture

Genius!

0
0
Thumb Down

Someone is telling a porky pie!

"numbers are harvested by sending an SMS"....... The iPhone SDK does not give access to the functions to send SMS messages!!

0
0

@Thomas18

as opposed to anyone else who isn't ageing?

0
0
Stop

Err....Contact list????

Seing as how there are any number of apps that provide enhanced contact lists or contact sharing (bump, flick etc) what is the angle here?

Surley if you want phone numbers to spam then read the contact book, most likley over a nice API. Maybe the "science" is doing it from the phone, as opposed to the data, but so what they either get 1 number or 100's

And Id bet you can do this on any smartphone via the appropriate API.

0
0
Unhappy

facepalm.jpg

Great, with publicity like this -- and concept code? -- there'll be loads of this kind of thing now. Good job everyone.

Apple really need to do a better job of vetting apps. People get them from iTunes, so they assume they'll be safe. Either Apple need to start checking properly, or give up being sole gatekeeper.

0
0
Silver badge
Joke

@Russ 3

Even better--if they're gonna waste your time, make them pay for it. Every time they ask you a question, state a price they have to pay for the answer.

For an American caller, for example, if a TMer asks, "What is your name?", reply with "25 Dollars."

Even for simple yes/no questions, demand a price for the answer. "Would you be interested in subscribing to some useless drivel?" "75 cents".

0
0

Plus one for the "Waste their time" method

I did this a few times despite being on the "Do not call list".

I've had them on the line for 20 minutes while I cooked my dinner, even had the supervisor on the line as they were so sure they'd get a sale. They finally hung up when they realised they weren't going to get any information that the system would accept. After a further 10 minute call from a similar company I've never heard from anyone again. I also leave the automated machines on the line for as long as possible and I've not had one of those for ages.

At the end of the day being on the phone costs them money, so the more people that waste their time, the quicker they all go out of business.

0
0
Flame

They have it all wrapped up don't they...

Buy the iPhone because you're a impressionable consumer...

Pay a premium for the extended, mandatory contract because it's the only option offered and you're an impressionable consumer...

Buy the apps because you're an impressionable consumer....

Guess what, you are an excellent target for tele sales and other marketing annoyances.

They should call it the cPhone. "c" for consumption because all it does is consume your money.

Wait until they manage to do it with your email address, every app you buy from the app store will harvest your details to be used for marketing purposes, and I will laugh my head off, because it will all be in the terms and conditions that you have to agree to before you can even use the shitty little bit of software you just paid for, which you will of course click OK to, because you are a good little consumer.

0
0

Am I missing something?

How do they send a text if they don't know the number?

0
0

Is it really that difficult?

"Programmatically reading a mobile phone number is generally quite hard, because mobile phones have no real reason to know their own number."

All of the Windows Mobile phones I've used display their own number in the Phone control panel applet, and I seem to recall at least one of my old dumb Nokias would list it somewhere too... Indeed, according to this Apple support page (http://support.apple.com/kb/TA38675?viewlocale=en_US) the iPhone itself will also display its own number provided its on a network which provides this service.

So provided you're not on a network which inhibits the number being stored on the SIM, the only difficulty would then be whether or not the publically-available SDK provides the necessary hooks into the system to let your code access the data already on the phone...

0
0

Easy fix?

Couldn't this be fixed by doing what "dumb" phones do when running regular Java apps, which is to ask permission before the an application tries to access potentially private information (contact lists, files in local storage) or something that could end up costing the user money (sending SMS, using the data connection)? You can usually reduce these prompts on a per-app basis to "first time only" (or "never" for signed applications), so it works quite well (then again, I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't find Vista's UAC irritating). ;-)

Unless the iPhone already does this (I wouldn't know), in which case it's user error, surely?

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

New #1?

On a long list of reasons to _not_ get an iPhone.

Only giving Apple a "thumbs up" because the proper digit wasn't available.

0
0

@ben ryves

Android actually provides a list of the potentially-hazardous APIs that an app uses before you even install it.

0
0
Stop

To the Anti-Fanbois

Before you make your stupid anti-Apple comments try Googling for "api retrieve own phone number"

Oooh look, articles on how to do this on Nokia, Symbian, WinMo, Blackberry etc. Who'd have thought it?

0
0
Gold badge

Why the fuss?

Are you telling me this isn't possible on Windows Mobile or Android?

All the major smartphone OSes apart from Symbian allow this:

Windows Mobile

http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/archive/2004/11/28/271110.aspx

Android:

http://developer.android.com/reference/android/telephony/TelephonyManager.html#getLine1Number

0
0
Silver badge
Troll

@Thomas 18

I did once get fast-talked into a mo-fo deal I didn't need. I emailed the company and utilised the 3-day cooling off period to cancel. The telemearketer called me back a few days later to follow-up and was most disappointed when I told him that I had sat down and done the maths and worked out that my present pay-per-use non-contract was better value for my low-out-call lifestyle.

I love how they always ask if you have any friends or family who might be interested in their offer. Yeah right - they are my friends and I want to keep them, ergo I don't give out their contact details without permission! I usually say I don't have any close friends or family - that's why I make less than 4 mobile calls a month. (Real reason is myself and my friends and family are much more contactable via email).

0
0
WTF?

Clarification?

Wait, they harvest the numbers via SMS? So are all these complaints from people who seem to have somehow forgotten sending a message to the company that makes the app? Or is the company lying? OR does the iPhone also allow apps to send SMS without the owner's approval? Because the latter would be a MUCH bigger security hole - not that the number-retrieving app isn't a big enough hole as it is... Whichever it is, I'd hope Apple addresses this soon, if they want to keep their customers.

0
0

@bish

One way to prevent this kind of thing would be to have a security list of what actions an app can and can't perform. iPhone already prompts you when an app wants to use your location, which can be a bit annoying. I'd like to see a simple list of apps with tickboxes to allow location, sms etc. By default they should be blocked, and an app should be allowed to prompt at first use.

Trouble is, even with a stricter security model like that it'd be trivial for someone to get around it by embedding this kind of "spyware" crap into a legitimate application, like something that sends SMSs to remind people of meetings.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums