The advancement of technology is escalating beyond our imagination, in fact, we are completely surrounded by it and it is unfortunate that we are not completely aware of the pros and cons of it. In today’s digital world, we are witnessing a paradigm shift from the offline market to the online market. It is good that the world is moving towards online marketing, but everything has its consequences too. Let’s highlight one of the most critical issues that are online hacking.
We have been hearing the term ‘hacking’ now and then, so we must understand it from its core. This article will mainly focus on your mobile devices, and how it can be hacked. There is no surprise about choosing mobile over computers since, nowadays, mobile devices are the most preferred medium for everything. From email to banking, we use a mobile device and it has been providing comfort to our lives. The multitude of mobile devices and their usage have unintentionally opened the gate for online hackers and we must know the possibilities of getting out phones hacked.
How to Find out who Hacked your Cell Phone
Recently, security researchers have identified one malicious Android apps which were similar in every detail to the legitimate messaging programs including WhatsApp and Signal. This attacking campaign has managed to fool a huge number of people across the globe and made them install such malicious applications.
People downloaded these applications via a website called Secure Android. Once they installed these apps, hackers have been automatically granted permission to access photos, location, audio, and message content from your personal mobile devices. “This malware only required application permission which was by default provided by the users once they had initiated installing this malicious app, in fact, it didn’t require any sophisticated software,” said EFF staff Technology Cooper Quentin.
The most common downloading route for malware is open-source; rather we say it as a non-official source. Without even knowing completely, people mistook links and messages as an authenticated source for downloading the application. Even such a malicious website including Secure Android site also became the platform from which malware could enter to your mobile system. For security reasons, experts always suggest you download the application from official app stores, like the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play Store for Android devices.
The risk is evident while using technology at its peak level. Lately, mobile malware is one of the most concerned issues. As we see politics and sorry to say that terrorist organizations are two division that may be utilizing this malicious malware for their respective functions. As they want to spy on people’s interest by breaking into their mobile device.
Once malware is online, and since it contains spyware, you would have no idea that your device is monitored as well as used by different person. It breaks private networks and harnessing your mobile’s internet bandwidth to send the spam. Users, unfortunately, cannot do anything as they don’t know that hackers are stealing their private information.
We know, meanwhile, you are wondering whether your phone has been hacked or not and how to secure it from hacking. Don’t worry, we will be mentioning all the possible ways by which your phone can be hacked and help you mitigate the hacking issue.
6 Signs Your Phone Have Been Hacked
Battery Life Decreases Rapidly
When a mobile’s battery decreases significantly. A smartphone that has been attacked by malware, you will find that your device would display an excessive battery discharging and your battery lifespan would decrease significantly. The reason being that malware or a spyware application on your device may be using your phone’s energy resources to scan the mobile along with transmitting data to the malicious server. Of note that everyday use can also exhaust battery life, that is the case, then you need to check how to improve your android or iPhone battery lifespan.
Have you ever noticed that your phone, often, suddenly becomes motionless and some of the applications won’t run as they used to? We call it crashing of application! This is because malware in your system is overloading your device’s resources or it is clashing other applications.
You have also noticed that after closing the application; it continues running on your device, enforcing you to perform Force Close. In addition to that, your phone also restarts automatically and it repeats the same for a period of time. Besides decreased battery life, many other factors can control your device and make it perform sluggishly. Therefore, you need to try deep cleaning of your mobile devices.
Excessive Use Of Mobile Data
Have you ever been in a situation where your monthly mobile data bill left you in shock? This is due to malware which secretly consuming your mobile data through apps which run in the background in order to share information back to the criminal server.
Unintentional Calls & Texts
If you ever find out that your phone is showing the calls and texts to a number that you are not aware, then you should quickly initiate the mitigation process. This could be down to the malware which enforces your phone to connect to the premium rate numbers, and without your knowledge, money is directed to their wallet. In future, if you face such problem, then you need to verify your phone bills in order to find out the unknown cost and the number.
While not all the pop-ups mean your mobile device has been hacked, steady and continuous pop-up cautions could show that your smartphone has been contaminated with adware, a type of malware that powers gadgets to see certain pages that drive income through snaps. Regardless of whether a pop-up isn’t the aftereffect of an attacked phone, many might be phishing joins that endeavour to get clients to type in touchy information – or download more malware. By far most of such pop-ups can be terminated just by closing the window – however make certain you’re tapping the correct X, the same number of are intended to shunt clients towards clicking a zone that rather opens up the objective, in some cases malicious, site.
Suspicious Activities On Accounts Linked With The Device
If a programmer or a hacker approach your mobile device, they additionally approach its records – from web-based social networking to email to different way of life or profitability applications. This could uncover itself in action on your accounts, for example, resetting your password, sending messages, stamping new messages that you don’t recall perusing, or agreeing to accept new accounts whose check messages appear in your inbox.
For this situation, you could be in danger for personality extortion, where crooks open new records or credit extensions in your name, utilizing data taken from your ruptured records. It’s a smart thought to change your passwords – without updating them on your mobile devices– before running security clear on your phone.
How To Recover
If you ever experienced such symptoms that may indicate that your phone may be hacked, the best thing is to download mobile security app from play store.
If you are using Android devices, then we recommend you to download Avast which is a mobile security app that scans your device to remove the malware. It does not stop there, it also offers call blocker, firewall, VPN, and allows users to set a pin for certain application that user wants to use. It also protects your device from malware while you are operating on online banking sites which are very sensitive.
People say that the iPhone or iOS devices cannot be hacked easily. It is true, but they are not completely immune from hacking. You need to check the Lookout app for iOS that protects your device from potentially dangerous Wi-Fi networks.
Who Can Hack Your Phone!
So far, we have been accusing government spying and we are less concerned about the fact that NSA or FBI can tap our calls and hack our computers and mobile devices. But, this could be more than what we think. Motivation on bad path may lead criminal to perform and hack our devices in order to leak our private information. It is not about the person we don’t know, sometimes, hacking can be done within the group which means a known person could also try to hack your device in order to invade your privacy.
6 Ways Your Phone Can Be Hacked
Here are the seven ways someone could hack your cell phone its likelihood. We have also mentioned what you can do when you face such issues.
These apps are in huge numbers, there is a glut of phone spying application nowadays. These apps are basically designed to secretly monitor or track someone’s location. It gets worse since it allows the criminal server to snoop on users’ communication. Many are developed and advertised to track suspicious partners or to watch the activity of the untrusty employee. But, mostly these applications are marketed as a legal tool for parents who want to tab their children’s activity. With this app, you can snoop into a person’s text messages, e-mails, internet browsing history, and even photos and videos. This application allows the user to log phone calls and GPS location, and some cruel and criminal mind can hack your device’s microphone in order to record personal conversations. Hence, this application provides everything that hackers could possibly ask for.
Furthermore, according to our research on cell phone spying apps, we have identified that this app could do everything that it has promised. In the worst case, these apps are easily installed by anywhere from anywhere, making person look fool on whom the server have been spying since the person would not have any idea that he or she is being spied on.
“There aren’t too many indicators of a hidden spy app – you might see more internet traffic on your bill, or your battery life may be shorter than usual because the app is reporting back to a third-party,” says Chester Wisniewski, a principal research scientist at security firm Sophos.
Such spy apps are easily available on Play store, both on Android and iOS. Anyone can easily install it from non-official source as well. Therefore, because it is a pretty easy process, anyone with bad intentions can install it on your mobile device if you have given them access to use your phone.
How To Safeguard yourself
- Now, you would know that spy apps only can be installed if you have given physical access to someone to use your phone. In this case, it is a better idea to protect your phone by putting a password, it will eliminate the chances of people using your phone without informing you. and in addition to that, you only grant access to your closed ones to use your phone. in such a case, you need to put a strong password or pin which cannot be broken by anyone else except you.
- Inspect your application in order to determine the app you don’t recognize.
- No need to jailbreak your mobile device “If a device isn’t jailbroken, all apps show up,” “If it is jailbroken, spy apps are able to hide deep in the device, and whether security software can find it depends on the sophistication of the spy app [because security software scans for known malware]” says Wisniewski.
- If you are an iPhone user, then it is advised not to jailbreak your device. It protects your cell phone from anyone who wants to download spy apps on your device.
- We recommend you to download a mobile security app for your mobile. You can download Avast for Android and Lookout for iOS.
Fraud by message
You may notice a text claiming that you have won some amount of money or your friend would have asked you to open the link to check the photographs. Be aware! Usually, these messages contain fraud links that will eventually pull out your private information and continue doing the same for a longer period of time.
Mostly, Android users have been facing such issue since it allows use to download the application from non-official sources whereas iPhone are non-jailbroken and hence, you cannot download application except from the App Store.
These malicious apps may steal users’ private data and share it over the internet. It can breach your online visits and can scrape your log-in information.
Quite likely. However, people nowadays are more cautious whenever they see “click to see this funny video” or such. But, they are less worried on their phones.
How To Safeguard Yourself
- Always be aware how you authenticate your identity to certain accounts. For example, your bank will never ask you to put your full password or pin.
- Avoid unclear messages from your colleagues and do not click on the links that you find suspicious.
- If your phone happens to download the application without clicking on the link, your device would notify you that certain app has been installed. You need to quickly uninstall the app and run the mobile security scan.
SS7 global phone network vulnerability
A correspondence convention for portable systems over the world, Signaling System No 7 (SS7), has a defencelessness that gives programmers or hackers a chance to keep an eye on instant messages, telephone calls and areas, furnished distinctly with somebody’s cell phone number. An additional worry is that text message is a typical way to get two-factor verification codes from email administrations or money related foundations – if these are captured, a venturesome hacker could access safe accounts, destroying budgetary and individual destruction.
As indicated by security scientist Karsten Nohl, law authorization and intelligence organizations utilize the exploit to capture mobile phone information and thus don’t really have incredible motivation to seeing that it gets fixed.
Not evident to happen, unless you’re a demanding politician or managing director who runs a monster company. These people may be targeted since with high designation, the risk of getting distinctive information stolen will always be there and who else than criminal look for such important documents.
How To Safeguard Yourself
- Need to use end-to-end encrypted message service that only operates over the internet. Recently, WhatsApp, Signal, and Wickr Me are the apps that use such service and prevent any malware to intercept the communication
- If you feel you are under watch where your phone conversations might be monitored, then act accordingly
Snooping via Wi-Fi
It would have given you immense joy when you noticed that you have found a password free Wi-Fi. Hackers on unauthorised or unsecured network can easily view all unencrypted data. In addition to that, a public hotspot, with nefarious intentions, could lead you to the local banking and email with an intention of capturing your username and password. It is not like that you have been trapped by the already established network, sometimes, hackers could be the next person sitting with you and creating login-free Wi-Fi network to trap you.
Not everyone can create such Wi-Fi network trap. A tech-savvy person can download the software to intercept and observe traffic over Wi-Fi.
How to Safeguard yourself
- We recommend you to use only secured networks, because with secured network, all the traffic is by default encrypted which protects your device from others who are waiting to snoop into your Wi-Fi signal.
- You can download VPN app which encrypts your mobile device traffic
- If it is essential for you to connect to a public network and you don’t have VPN app, we advise you not to enter login details for banking sites. Even if you can’t keep such thing to happen, then make sure to check URL in your browser address. Ensure that it is correct! We recommend you to never enter your personal information unless you get connection with a secure Wi-Fi network.
Hacked iCloud and Google accounts offer access to an astonishing measure of data supported up from your cell phone – photographs, phonebooks, current area, messages, call logs and on account of the iCloud Keychain, saved passwords to email records, programs and different applications. What’s more, there are spyware vendors out there who explicitly showcase their items against these vulnerabilities.
Online culprits may not discover much an incentive in the photographs of customary society – dissimilar to naked pictures of famous people that are immediately spilled however they know the proprietors of the photographs do, says Wisniewski, which can prompt records and their substance being held carefully prisoner except if unfortunate casualties pay a huge amount of money.
Furthermore, a broken Google account implies a cracked Gmail, the essential email for some clients. Approaching a primary email can prompt domino effect hacking of the considerable number of accounts that email is connected to – from your Facebook account to your mobile account, preparing for a profundity of wholesale fraud that would truly bargain your credit.
This is a huge risk! In such case, hackers would only need access to operate your email address not the phone. If you are using your name in your email address or in primary address to sign up your google/icloud account. Worse could happen if you provide weak password. This allows hackers to snoop into your social media accounts and take out your private information.
How to Safeguard Yourself
- Always provide strong password for all the primary and essential accounts
- Enable login notification so that every time login happens, you get notified
- Enable two-factor authentication, because, with this feature, even if someone breaks your password they cannot use your google or iCloud account without access to your mobile device
- When you create a password, always set a security question along with it. It will help you in cases when someone will try to reset your password because they don’t have the answer of security question that you have created
Malicious charging station
Malware charging station generally takes advantage of the fact that USB cables tends to transfer data and it can also charge the battery. Older version of Android Phones could automatically mount the hard drives to the computer along with exposing the data to a dishonest owner
Whenever you ought to choose malicious charging station in order to charge your phone, there is a certain possibility that hacker can monitor your mobile device including your private information such as passwords.
Very low! There is hardly any instance where hackers make full use of video-out function. On the other hand, recent Android device ask the user for permission whenever users want to load their hard drive. Similarly, iPhone asks for PIN.
How To Safeguard Yourself
- We suggest you not to use unknown devices for plug-in. If you can purchase a wall charger, it will work great for you.
- If you have no other option to revive your battery and you have to use public computers, then we recommend you to choose “Charge Only” option once you plugin to charging station.
We hope that the above article would help you understand more about hacking and how you can protect your devices from different malicious applications. This is the 21stcentury and you must know about the technology that you are using every day. Let us know and feel free to send queries related to Android and iOS. We will surely try our best to help you by providing useful content.