by Joe White
November 26, 2011
A new jailbreak tweak called "MobileMonitor" takes iPhone espionage to the next level. Once installed, the package works under-the-hood, automatically sending data from any given iPhone handset to a website, where information such as SMS messages, GPS location, Camera Roll images and more can be viewed remotely. The service, which appears to target parents and employers as its main clientele, is free to try but will set users back $19.90/month once this trial period has expired. As Jeff of iDownloadBlog notes, this is indeed "scary stuff." I mean, even MobileMonitor's website, bearing rhetorical questions such as "Do your kids always tell the truth?" and "Are your employees loyal to you?," reeks of George Orwell's '1984', or some other dreadful, dystopian imagined future. The AdminPanel, which potential customers can take a look at before subscribing to the service, certainly gives me the creeps. There, MobileMonitor users can view SMS messages sent and received on an iPhone handset they've linked the service with: Because of the way MobileMonitor is engineered to work, your employer, parent or spouse could easily have configured the service to send data from your iPhone handset without you knowing. Jeff explains:
Even a so-called iPhone expert could be duped into thinking their iPhone was completely scot-free of MobileMonitor. It doesn’t show up in the Home screen, Settings, or a Spotlight search. It doesn’t even show up in Mobile Substrate add-ons via SBSettings. In-fact, MobileMonitor is so stealthy that it’ll even prevent you from viewing the app’s details in Cydia if it happens to be installed on your device.Yikes. But there's more. Just take a look at the below image, which is a screenshot of the "Explore Device" pane in the AdminPanel of MobileMonitor. As you can see, it's possible to monitor everything - Web browser history, notes, images and video, audio files, GPS location and calls, SMS messages and contacts: The only quantum of solace we can extract from this is that not everybody is susceptible to being "MobileMonitored," simply because an iPhone handset must be jailbroken before it can be installed. If your boss starts handing out jailbroken iPhones to employees as company handsets, perhaps think about unjailbreaking it before using it (you can do this by restoring the handset); doing this would, of course, remove MobileMonitor's tracking capabilities. For more information on the service, you can head over to MobileMonitor's website. If you have an opinion on the above, be sure to post it in the comments.