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South Korean Government Enabling Paedophiles?

Posted on 3rd November 2015

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This (a BBC news story) is a pretty sorry tale. The South Korean government has withdrawn a phone app, "Smart Sheriff", from the market and is recommending exisating users to change to an alternative. Smart Sheriff had been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times inside South Korea.

One of reasons this market is so big in South Korean is that the government there mandated in April this year that all children's mobile phones must be monitored. Smart Sheriff was developed by a group of telecoms companies called the Korean Mobile Internet Business Association (Moiba), and seems to have been the government's recommended app.

It turns out that Smart Sheriff is not actually very Smart. Its security is described as "catastrophic" in two reports, one by the University of Toronto and the second by software auditing firm Cure53. It seems that children's personal details were not stored securely and that the parental filters were easy to disable.

So, in summary, it doesn't do its job properly, and whilst failing to work it leaks confidential data. Paedophiles (Pedophiles to any American readers) must simply love this app. A great job all around!