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Is your phone hacked or running Spy Software?!

Over the past 6+ months I have been inundated with clients calling with concerns over Spyware on their mobile phones. I made it my mission to start a detailed R&D project that would analyze the forensic aspect of Spy software, how Spy software is purchased, how Spy software is installed, how is the infected phone monitored, and what can Spy software really do?! To be quite honest, I was a bit surprised on the ease, accessibility and power of the Spy programs I researched.
**As a warning, If you think your phone has spyware on it TURN IT OFF or PUT IT IN AIRPLANE MODE. Do not use this phone because the second you start calling Binary Intelligence for help or telling your mom you think your phone is tapped, the criminal can remotely take the software off of your phone.**
Let me start this blog post by listing things that MUST happen in order for your phone to be considered a candidate for a potential spyware breach. (These items are from my own research and I do not claim that these are the only things to be aware of. Other programs, that I am unaware of, may require less or more from the user and infected phone.)
1. The phone must be Rooted (if Android) or Jailbroken (if iPhone). Blackberry simply requires access to the “Blackberry App World”, but has a more complex configuration process.
2. The individual placing the Spy software on your phone must have physical access to your device for about 5-20 minutes.
Side Note: I was made aware of a program that did not require access to the phone, but it did not work when I tested it. It utilized a “infected photo” sent to the phone that allowed someone to monitor calls, text messages, and even intercept messages. Again I tested it and it did not work.
If you believe Spy software is on your mobile phone here are some things that you may want to look for:
– Spy software is very powerful and can allow the user to listen in on calls or turn your microphone on to listen in on what you are doing while the phone is not in use. With each of these features there are no physical signs that the act is happening. If you see 3 way calls on your bill, that you did not make, that maybe a sign. If you see a incoming calls that you did not get (and you know for sure you didn’t get) that maybe a sign as well. Some programs utilize data for monitoring instead of calls.
– Application control is another feature of Spyware programs. This feature allows the person monitoring the phone to deny or grant access to particular applications. Normally this feature is used to deny access to applications that cannot be monitored. If you are using “KIK” or any other application that allows you to text or call for free those will normally be blocked so you are forced to use options that can be monitored.
– When a person is listening in on your calls they can un-mute their phone and communicate. If for some reason you hear people or someone in the background they may have accidentally turned the mute off.
– Spy programs run all the time. They can be draining on a cell phones battery especially if they are transmitting your location via GPS signal. If you see your battery dying within hours it is possible the program maybe hiding in the background.
If you are concerned over the threat of your phone being hacking and monitored give us a call and ask for Daniel. I am more than happy to discuss your particular situation and give you some feedback. If you would like me to analyze your phone for Spy Software I can do that is quick and easy manner. My client utilize FedEx or UPS to get me the phone.
Please comment on this blog post if you are currently using a program that works outside of my post. I am always interested in new programs for R&D purposes.
-Daniel
866-246-2794 ext 713 or dparsons@binaryintel.com