Wednesday, August 9, 2006

More on the Blackberry handheld exploit


The malware researcher who announced that Blackberry handhelds could be used to gain access to corporate networks that support services for the device plans to release the exploit code to the public.

"Public" in this case means that script kiddies and online organized crime rings will most certainly pick up the code and begin to use it for their own gain. Hopefully Research in Motion will provide patches to their server products to mitigate the risk.

What should end-users do?

End users need to be very cautious about opening unexpected attachments in email received on their Blackberries - even if those attachments come from known contacts. They should also be sure that their device does not fall into someone else's hands - even for a short time, as the exploit can easily be installed with physical access to the handheld.

On the IT Admin side of the equation:

"By administering the various security tools available in its systems, IT administrators can greatly reduce the potential for any attack by banning or limiting the privileges of various types of applications, company officials said.

"I wouldn't characterize this as a flaw, but the ability to run a program on the network," said Scott Totzke, director of RIM's Global Security Group, in Waterloo, Ontario. "We have tools [that can be used] to manage and control third-party applications, and administrators can close the door to third-party applications completely, or use a whitelist approach that can allow them to be very granular in what they might allow."

So the question to all you IT folks, have you implemented strong security policies on your Blackberry servers?

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