It seems that the UAE based telecommunication company, Etisalat, messed up big time. They sent out a message to all of it’s 100,000 Blackberry subscribers urging them to update their mobile with the latest Etisalat patch: “Etisalat network upgrade for BlackBerry service. Please download to ensure continuous service quality.”
The application slowed mobiles’ performances and drained their batteries. After a closer look at the patch they found out that it contains an application that allow the company to intercept and get a copy of each email and sms sent. This option is turned off by default, However, it could be turned out remotely if they wanted to.
“he said that once installed, it potentially gives Etisalat the power to view all emails and text messages sent from the BlackBerry.”
“I don’t think it’s been designed for a large scale deployment,” he said. “They have released it as an upgrade across all UAE BlackBerry handsets, all of which have tried to phone home to this one registration server at the same time, and that has effectively brought the server to its knees. When the BlackBerry cannot register itself, it tries again and this causes the battery drain.” – Nigel Gourlay