© protothema.gr How they can monitor mobile phones
Edward Snowden, who revealed the massive surveillance of security authorities inside and outside the United States, has repeatedly warned that:
“No smartphone is safe”.
Indeed, there are few times when a variety of monitoring methods for large groups of people have seen the light of publicity. Not necessarily because they have been formally accused, but as part of preventive surveillance by various secret services.
He also expressed his concern that mobile phones are now turned into monitoring devices that automatically create online biographies and GPS devices. As an example, he cited the case of the death of Marie Colvin, an American journalist who worked for London’s Sunday Times and was killed by a munitions fire in Homs.
“Radio communications were intercepted by the Syrian army,
he said, adding that it is becoming more and more difficult for users to trust their smartphones as they can be infected by malware to transmit information about where they are (the users), even when they are (the mobiles) in flight mode, or off. Besides, technology has even made private phone tracking not only feasible but also quite simple and relatively economical.
The story that was released in the Athenian circles was impressed by the fact that a wealthy businessman decided to watch his younger and a little naughty companion by giving him a brand-new, state-of-the-art mobile phone. It turned out that this was trapped with a tracking software that could record and send her conversations directly to his computer. The cost of this service did not exceed €700. The entrepreneur did not, however, estimate that the brother of his companion was professionally engaged in electronics. So when she complained to him that her expensive and brand-new mobile was “out of service”, he offered to take a look at it…
Snowden is making a mobile phone
Snowden warns about signal interception, which is the rarest case and almost always is done by government agencies in cooperation with mobile service providers. This scenario is not for common users. The main equipment needed by a interceptor for this method is not sold on the market. Even if it is for sale, it will be stolen and worth a few hundreds of thousands of euros. Despite its cost, its operation has a few weeks’ expiration date, because the manufacturer’s codes (so-called “keys”) have to be renewed at regular intervals.
Even the most economical equipment on the market reach 10,000 euros and is terribly difficult to use and usually immediately perceived. The interceptor should be within a relatively short distance and, especially in the city, within a few tens of meters. In addition, it can not intercept 3G / 4G signal – most of the base station antennas are 3G. In the rare case that someone has become a target he can realize it, as often the mobile can only make outgoing calls and not incoming (immediately suspicious). In fact, at the other end of the communication line it will not seen the mobile number, but the “private” indication.
Snowden, a key man in the massive electronic surveillance case, is in the process of creating a new phone that cannot be breached. In particular, he hopes to create one -as his construction is still at an experimental stage- a special device, a modified version of the iPhone, for journalists facing the possibility of being monitored by government agencies. This announcement was made at the Forbidden Research conference at Media Lab of MIT. Snowden, who spoke via video link from Russia where he lives now, said he is working with Andrew Huang, a well-known hacker with the alias “Bunnie” who has studied electrical engineer at MIT. Their research involves modifying a smartphone so that it can alert a user, who is working in a dangerous environment, that is being monitored electronically.
5 Signs warn:
Experts point out the following five characteristic signs that warn of violation of privacy:
1. The device is “demonized”
The mobile generally behaves strangely, as if taking initiatives by itself. The screen is suddenly illuminated and unreasonable, it opens and closes at random moments, makes strange noises. All this could mean that the device is being monitored.
2. The battery drains suddenly
The battery empties too quickly and abruptly: even if it is relatively old and overused, the mobile battery is gradually discharged. When the battery “dies” suddenly, it means something odd.
3. Noise on calls
Permanent Noise: if during a conversation you hear an unusual and long-range noise, the phone has been breached.
4. Unreadable messages
Strange messages: Many online crooks are known to use SMS to hack phones, however, if a phone starts to receive messages with unusual characters and incomprehensible symbols, it is likely to be a victim of surveillance.
5. Unexplained data consumption
High consumption of data: if someone knows the fixed amount he consumes and suddenly starts to go over it -even though he did not change anything in the use of his cell phone- that means his phone is being monitored. If you suddenly find that data consumption is rising without having changed usage habits and the account is unreasonably “inflated”, the mobile may have been a victim of spyware. The relevant tracking software can be purchased online and installed on the mobile phone, that is, the device of the person you want to monitor. This is the first time that no hardware interference is required on the mobile device. This way you can access recorded conversations, surround sounds, call history, SMS messages, web site visits, emails, and photos. Some more sophisticated and expensive programs can also monitor social media and mobile-installed applications, although most people believe that communication through applications such as What’s Up or Viber is safe.
In addition to the above program, a mobile may be hacked through a microcontroller. This is the installation of a small electronic circuit inside the device. Such old-fashioned structures required a receiver at a relatively short distance, but the most sophisticated ones make a recording, while -in addition to a transmitter- they also have a receiver. When the handset approaches a relatively short distance, the interceptor can collect all the recorded audio data.
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