In the forums some users have found a neat little exploit to see other devices on the Sprint network. But is it something to worry about?

Probably not.

The trick is to use Resco Explorer --> Menu --> File --> Network --> Map Drive

After waiting a few moments if you hit the [+] sign to expand the list, you may see a bunch of device IDs. Interestingly, these appear to be all Sprint devices as WiFi is not enabled at the time and my Treo 800w is on Sprint.

So what is going on here?

Click to read an explanation plus some more screenies...

Basically this appears to be info broadcasting from our devices (and laptops with connect cards) to the carrier towers. Snce a WM device is basically a PC, you can see who's on the network. There are two important caveats here though:

  • None of the devices in the list are user accessible
  • This is not exclusive to Sprint's network

The former is important for those concerned with security. But this appears to be equivalent to turning your Bluetooth on in "Discovery" (Visible) mode in a crowded area. You too will see the screen populate with devices. In fact, using a freeware tool like BT Spammer could allow even more malicious use than browsing your carrier network.

Lesson learned? Don't leave your BT on in "Visible" mode--not only does it zap your battery, but it is a security risk! Thank you though to all the commuters at Penn Station NYC for giving me hours of amusement.

The latter caveat is also relevant. This doesn't seem to be a Sprint network thing as forum member alcedes says he can do the same thing on AT&T (and suspects T-mobile won't be much different).

So, is there any real concern here?

Doubtful. We don't see any thing serious, alarming or unique and at this point it seems more of a novelty. The only real danger here is you'll kill your battery if you leave it on "Map Network Drive" for an extended duration. Most WM devices are not acting like file hosts, so they should not be accessible and we don't see any open ports.

But hey, we'll keep you posted if t3h 1337 h4x0|2z find some ZOMG! cheats with this knowledge ;-)