Blog Attention: Someone May Be Spying on You From Your Cell Phone!
Robert Siciliano August 29, 2013

Attention: Someone May Be Spying on You From Your Cell Phone!

Cell phone eavesdroppingEver heard of mobile snoopware? For those affected, it’s unnerving and creates a sense of paranoia. I’ve worked with families that found spyware on their cell phones designed to watch their every move.

The hacker, they say, turned their mobiles on and off, used the phone’s camera to take pictures, and use the speakerphone as a bug. All year long, I receive emails from people who have experienced the same issues. It’s scary!

Mobile carrier networks are encrypted and aren’t likely to be snooped on, but they have been cracked. WiFi, on the other hand, is extremely vulnerable.

As I know, there are a few ways a cell phone can be snooped on:

  • GPRS cracks – A phone’s 3G connection sometimes defaults to the hacker-created General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) if 3G isn’t available.
  • Bluetooth recorders –  If you pair a Bluetooth headset with a phone, the sound comes through the earpiece—just as does a Bluetooth recorder sold through spy shops will. However, this often requires a hacker to have direct access to your mobile device.
  • Spyware device in hand – Snooping tools can monitor calls and texts. It’s legal when the phone’s owner installs it, such as a parent monitoring his or her kid’s phone.
  • Spyware remote install – Spyware doesn’t require physical access to the device when a user clicks an infected link or the device is on a free unsecured wireless connection.

Ways You Can Protect Yourself from Cell Phone Eavesdropping

  • Use cracking encryption – Don’t worry about it unless you are a high-end executive or a government agent; in that case, anyway, you probably own a device that has advanced encryption in the hardware and software.
  • Bluetooth – Require a password to access your device and turn off Bluetooth. As always, keep the device close.
  • Spyware –  Keep your device’s antivirus updated and beware of what links you click.
  • WiFi hacks – Use a VPN (virtual private network) app such as VPN for iPhone/iPad or VPN for Android.

Learn more about Hotspot Shield VPN

Robert Siciliano on

Robert Siciliano
About Robert Siciliano

Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft expert consultant to Hotspot Shield. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him discussing internet and wireless security on Good Morning America. FInd Robert Siciliano on Google+

View all posts by Robert Siciliano
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