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An Oscar surprise: Vulnerable phones

Date: March 07, 2005
Source: CNET
By: John Markoff and Laura M. Holson

Paris Hilton is not alone.

According to a Los Angeles security consulting firm that went skulking outside the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood on Sunday, as many as 100 people who walked the red carpet were carrying cell phones vulnerable to privacy invasion, much as Hilton recently gained a new round of unwanted notoriety.

Three employees of the company, Flexilis, founded two years ago by four University of Southern California students, positioned themselves in the crowd of more than 1,000 people watching celebrities arrive at the Kodak Theater. John Hering, one of the company's founders, wore a backpack in which he had placed a laptop computer with scanning software and a powerful antenna.

The Flexilis researchers said they were able to detect that 50 to 100 of the attendees had smart cell phones whose contents could be electronically siphoned from their service providers' central computers. The contents of Hilton's T-Mobile phone, including other celebrities' phone numbers, ended up on the Internet, although it's not yet clear how someone gained access to the phone.
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2005-11-02 09:37:29 - Thank you for the info! Misho
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