Software firm rebuts PKR ‘malware’ claim, says Prey can’t alter programmes

Software firm rebuts PKR ‘malware’ claim, says Prey can’t alter programmes

KUALA LUMPUR,. Software maker Prey Inc asserted today that its eponymous cross-platform, open-source anti-theft software is not “malware” as alleged by some PKR leaders over the party’s problem-riddled internal elections.

It added that the software cannot be used to modify the content of programmes in devices as claimed by PKR election chief Datuk Rashid Din and Rafizi Ramli who is contesting the party’s deputy presidency.

“Prey’s free features include device tracking and security actions such as the remote screen lock, the alarm, and message alert. The Remote File Retrieval and Remote Wipe features are part of paid plans exclusively; furthermore, Remote Wipe is only capable of wiping the SD card or to format the Android device completely. It cannot target files specifically or modify them to alter their content.

“Prey Inc confirms that its software is not capable of carrying out said activities, being that the application itself has no Remote Desktop feature, and no remote control capabilities that allow the deletion of specific applications or the ability to write or modify data in the device,” the company said in a statement.

It said that when its software protection is activated, only those given administrator status can install any other application.

“Prey Inc also discredits allegations that describe Prey as malware capable of bypassing in-device security that avoids unauthorised user modifications, such as tampering of data or installing applications. When said protections are active, the application can only be installed by the device’s administrator.

“The company was not, at any given moment, involved in the election process or in the configuration of the devices utilized; moreover, Prey Inc isn’t responsible for the organization or disruption of the security measures that are to be taken to protect e-voting devices during events of such sensibility,” the company said further.

The company said it will not take legal action against the accusers for the time being, considering their claims the result of a misunderstanding.

“We believe the candidate’s words come in good faith and stem from a misunderstanding of how the software works. Given this position, we refrain for now to pursue further legal actions,” it said.

The PKR elections in Julau, Sarawak has been plagued by claims of an alleged sudden increase in membership numbers and alleged malware on or purported hacking of the e-voting devices via anti-theft software Prey.

The division election was suspended last Saturday, over claims that hackers broke into the system and injected malware that erased the e-voting application in the tablets, stole data, changed the passwords and controlled the use of the tablets.

The tablets were purported to have been remotely controlled.

A technical team later took the tablets offline before removing the application.

Rashid said the team had identified the “malware” as the Prey app.

Prey is a legitimate anti-theft application that is available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and even Linux