New Software Turns iPad into iSpy

A new commercial software program marketed to employers, parents and suspicious spouses lets customers surreptitiously monitor their Apple iPads remotely and view a record of all e-mail and Web use on the devices.

The software-as-a-service is the latest offering from Jacksonville, Fla. based Retina-X Studios, a company whose  Mobile Spy products have long allowed people to remotely spy on iPhones, Blackberries and other smartphones. For $99.97 a year, customers get access to a Web interface that allows them to view a list of every Web site visited, every e-mail sent and received, as well as any contacts added to the iPad.

Mobile Spy pitches the product thusly:

Are your kids viewing pornography while you are alseep? [sic] Are your employees sending company secrets through their personal email? You will have the answers to all these questions answered. Logs are instantly uploaded and viewable inside your control panel.

The company said in a press release that it plans to roll out even more capabilities for its iPadspy product, such as the ability to record the target’s location (by tapping the built-in GPS), and rifle through photos and notes stored on the device.

I haven’t used the service (I don’t even own an iPad, sadly). But these kinds of services are a good reminder about the importance of physical security for your computers and gadgets: In most cases, once an attacker has physical access to a device, it’s game over.

The software only works on jailbroken iPads, as the iPad is not able to run more than one program at a time unless it’s jailbroken.

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