150,000 Chinese cell phones bugged
You might be thinking cross-border, James Bond-type shenanigans after reading about 150,000 Chinese cell phone being bugged, but it turns out the latest cell phone virus -- X Undercover -- is catering to Chinese wives who want to check up on their husbands.
On Wednesday, the Beijing Times broke the story that the computer virus has infected over 150,000 smart phones in China, allowing hackers to remotely monitor calls.
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The phone forces the target smart phone to use three-way calling -- unbeknown to the two callers -- to allow the perpetrator to monitor and copy conversations and text messages.
X Undercover can also secretly video the phone's owner as well as pinpoint the user's location with the phone's GPS system.
The virus doesn’t come cheap. ChinaDaily reports that it’s sold online for RMB 3,000 a pop, with marketing -- yes, even viruses have marketing these days -- to Chinese women (and men) who believe their spouses are cheating.
Although the virus is still available online, bugging and monitoring personal information is against the law in China, according to mobile security experts quoted in ChinaDaily.
How to avoid getting X Undercover? Experts advise the paper's readers to be “cautious when clicking attachments in multimedia messages or allowing others to use their phone.”
Not exactly rocket science. Or, you could just use something other than a smart phone.
The Shanghai government is taking its own steps to curb cheating -- or at least bigamy -- as it announced in late 2010 that it would be among China’s first cities and provinces to share its marriage database in an effort to "help prevent bigamy and cheating in marriage."
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Residents will be able to check the database to see if someone is already married or has been divorced, once civil affairs departments across the country are linked up.
All this might seem a bit extreme, but according to a 2010 survey titled “Explaining Extramarital Sex: Evidence from Urban China," almost 4 percent of urban Chinese married women and more than 20 percent of married Chinese men have had extramarital sex in the past year.