Your Apple ID might be compromised if you receive an account notification from Apple for a change you didn't make, or if you notice account details or changes you don’t recognize. If you received an email, text message, or phone call that you're not sure is valid or you think might be phishing, here are some tips to help determine its legitimacy.

hacking

hacking

He called me up because his girlfriend says things during fights that he mentioned in text messages.

How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked

How to Tell if Your Phone Has Been Hacked

According to the McAfee 2020 Mobile Threat Report, over half of mobile malware apps “hide” on a device, without a homescreen icon, hijacking the device to serve unwanted ads, post bogus reviews, or steal information that can be sold or used to hold victims to ransom. Then there are the commercial spy apps that require physical access to download to a phone – often done by those well-known to the victim, such as a partner or parent – and which can monitor everything that occurs on the device. This is because the malware – or spy app – may be using up phone resources to scan the device and transmit the information back to a criminal server. (As with reduced battery life, many factors could contribute to a slower phone – essentially, its everyday use, so first try deep cleaning your Android or iPhone.).

Another sign of a compromised phone is an unusually high data bill at the end of the month, which can come from malware or spy apps running in the background, sending information back to its server. Even if a pop-up isn’t the result of a compromised phone, many may be phishing links that attempt to get users to type in sensitive info – or download more malware.

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms of a hacked smartphone, the best first step is to download a mobile security app. For Android, we like Bitdefender or McAfee for their robust feature sets and high ratings from independent malware analysis labs.

Lookout for iOS flags apps that are acting maliciously, potentially dangerous Wi-Fi networks, and if the iPhone has been jailbroken (which increases its risk for hacking). By now, government spying is such a common refrain that we may have become desensitized to the notion that the NSA taps our phone calls or the FBI can hack our computers whenever it wants.

Yet there are other technological means – and motives – for hackers, criminals and even the people we know, such as a spouse or employer, to hack into our phones and invade our privacy. And unless you’re a high-profile target – journalist, politician, political dissident, business executive, criminal – that warrants special interest, it’s far more likely to be someone close to you than a government entity doing the spying.

From targeted breaches and vendetta-fueled snooping to opportunistic land grabs for the data of the unsuspecting, here are twelve ways someone could be spying on your cell phone – and what you can do about it. Many are advertised to suspicious partners or distrustful employers, but still more are marketed as a legitimate tool for safety-concerned parents to keep tabs on their kids. And since spy apps are often installed by someone close to you (think spouse or significant other), pick a code that won’t be guessed by anyone else. Periods such as tax season tend to attract a spike in phishing messages, preying on people’s concern over their tax return, while this year’s coronavirus-related government stimulus payment period has resulted in a bump in phishing emails purporting to be from the IRS. Though people have learned to be skeptical of emails asking them to “click to see this funny video!”, security lab Kaspersky notes that they tend to be less wary on their phones. Avoid clicking links from numbers you don’t know, or in curiously vague messages from friends, especially if you can’t see the full URL.

Hacked iCloud and Google accounts offer access to an astounding amount of information backed up from your smartphone – photos, phonebooks, current location, messages, call logs and in the case of the iCloud Keychain, saved passwords to email accounts, browsers and other apps. If you happen to use your name in your email address, your primary email address to sign up for iCloud/Google, and a weak password that incorporates personally identifiable information, it wouldn’t be difficult for a hacker who can easily glean such information from social networks or search engines. You would be amazed how many security questions rely on information that is easily available on the Internet or is widely known by your family and friends. “Rather low, unless it is a targeted attack,” says Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky.“ Even then, a lot of factors have to come together to make it possible.”.

Another reason to be stringent about what you post online: cybercriminals can call up cellular carriers to pose as legitimate customers who have been locked out of their accounts. In a spat of Instagram handle thefts, for example, hackers used known login names to request password changes and intercept multi-factor authentication texts sent to the stolen phone number. On top of that, researchers found that there were representatives at all five major carriers who authenticated users giving the wrong information (such as billing address or zip code), by instead asking for the last three digits of the last two dialed numbers.

Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication for all your online accounts to minimize the risk of a hack that can reveal personal information used to hijack your SIM. As video calling becomes increasingly prevalent for work and family connection, it’s highlighted the importance of securing computer webcams from hackers – but that front-facing phone cam could also be at risk.

“With permission to use this, a malicious application has almost limitless possibilities for interacting with the system interface and apps,” says Galov. In 2019, researchers found that two-thirds of the top 150 most-downloaded free VPN apps on Android made requests for sensitive data such as users’ locations. And nefarious public hotspots can redirect you to lookalike banking or email sites designed to capture your username and password. For example, someone physically across the road from a coffee shop could set up a login-free Wi-Fi network named after the café, in hopes of catching useful login details for sale or identity theft. If you must connect to a public network and don’t have a VPN app, avoid entering in login details for banking sites or email. And never enter private information unless you have a secure connection to the other site (look for “https” in the URL and a green lock icon in the address bar).

Or, those with improperly implemented strong algorithms can create other back doors for hackers to exploit, allowing access to all the personal data on your phone. This method could also be used to hack other online accounts, from email to social media, wrecking financial and personal havoc.

According to security researcher Karsten Nohl, law enforcement and intelligence agencies use the exploit to intercept cell phone data, and hence don’t necessarily have great incentive to seeing that it gets patched. The likelihood is growing, as the minimal resources needed to exploit this vulnerability have made it available to cybercriminals with a much smaller profile who are seeking to steal 2FA codes for online accounts – rather than tap the phones of political leaders, CEO or other people whose communications could hold high worth in underground marketplaces. While travel and tourism may not be on the horizon anytime soon, last year the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office released a security alert about the risk of hijacked public USB power charging stations in locations such as airports and hotels.

Older Android phones may even automatically mount the hard drive upon connection to any computer, exposing its data to an unscrupulous owner. Security researchers have also shown it’s possible to hijack the video-out feature so that when plugged into a malicious charge hub, a hacker can monitor every keystroke, including passwords and sensitive data.

There are no widely-known instances of hijacked charging points, while newer Android phones ask for permission to load their hard drive when plugged into a new computer; iPhones request a PIN. The FBI, IRS, ICE, DEA, U.S. National Guard, Army and Navy are among the government bodies known to use cellular surveillance devices (the eponymous StingRays) that mimic bona fide network towers. StingRays, and similar pretender wireless carrier towers, force nearby cell phones to drop their existing carrier connection to connect to the StingRay instead, allowing the device’s operators to monitor calls and texts made by these phones, their movements, and the numbers of who they text and call.

The American Civil Liberties Union has identified over 75 federal agencies in over 27 states that own StingRays, but notes that this number is likely a drastic underestimate. While the average citizen isn’t the target of a StingRay operation, it’s impossible to know what is done with extraneous data captured from non-targets, thanks to tight-lipped federal agencies. Use encrypted messaging and voice call apps, particularly if you enter a situation that could be of government interest, such as a protest.

From security insiders to less tech-savvy folk, many are already moving away from traditional, unencrypted communications – and perhaps in several years, it will be unthinkable that we ever allowed our private conversations and information to fly through the ether unprotected. Natasha Stokes has been a technology writer for more than 7 years covering consumer tech issues, digital privacy and cybersecurity.

If you get this message from Apple, it means you've been hacked

If you get this message from Apple, it means you've been hacked

On Tuesday, Apple announced via a press release that it had filed a lawsuit against NSO Group. The company is responsible for creating the Pegasus spyware that authoritarian governments have used to infiltrate devices of journalists, activists, and academics in recent years.

First, Apple will display a Threat Notification at the top of the page when a user visits and signs into appleid.apple.com. Even if you receive a threat notification, it doesn’t necessarily mean a foreign government hacked your phone:. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future. Apple’s threat notifications will never ask you to click on links, open files, install apps, or reveal your passwords.

How to stop someone from reading your text messages on iPhone

How to stop someone from reading your text messages on iPhone

Yes, it’s definitely possible for someone to spy on your text messages and it’s certainly something you should be aware of – this is a potential way for a hacker to gain a lot of private information about you – including accessing PIN codes sent by websites used to verify your identity (such as online banking). This prevents anyone that steals your phone from accessing and reading your messages and makes it much harder for someone to guess your passcode.

Having new message previews appear on the lock screen of your device is a potential security risk. To disable this feature, tap Settings > Notifications > Messages > Show Previews and change to ‘Never’ or ‘When Unlocked’.

Apps such as iAntiTheft will allow you to use an alarm to catch or deter any would be snoopers from tampering with your phone by using different triggers to detect interference (e.g. when the device is moved or when the power cable is unplugged). Software such as our own Certo AntiSpy is designed to protect you against outside threats and scan for any installed spyware on your device, along with any other signs of hacking.

Signs your phone had been hacked and what to do if it happens to you

Signs your phone had been hacked and what to do if it happens to you

The vast majority of these – 290 million – are smart phones which can connect us instantly to the internet. That convenience has led many people to use them for everything including banking, online purchases, checking email and even entertainment. According to information recently published by foolproofme.org a non-profit online consumer website, “Established smartphones have pretty good hacker protection systems.

Every app is inspected by Apple, one at a time, so the chance of getting hacked is pretty small. One way that hackers are able to access your phone is to get you to click on infected links in text messages and emails.

Unusual activity on social accounts: If there are unrecognized activities on your social media or emails account that are connected to your phone, it could mean that a hacker has gained access to the device, and it could lead to identity theft. Run anti-malware applications: Download a trustworthy anti-malware app that will detect malware and get rid of it. Contact service-provider: If you stop receiving calls and messages on your phone, it could mean a hacker is using a cloned SIM card.

Privacy

Privacy

And if you use the latest versions of watchOS and iOS and turn on two-factor authentication, your health and activity data will be backed up in a way that Apple can’t read. If you later decide to stop sharing, then the other user’s iPhone will delete historical data stored in the Fitness app. Choose which data and trends to share, including heart health, activity, labs, vitals, Medical ID, cycle tracking, and more.

ResearchKit enables developers to create apps that let medical researchers gather robust and meaningful data for studies. With ResearchKit, you choose which studies you want to join, and you control the information you provide to individual research apps.

Any apps built using ResearchKit for health-related human subject research must obtain consent from the participants and must provide information about confidentiality rights and the sharing and handling of data. Once shared, the data is stored securely within Apple in a system designed to meet the technical safeguard requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

How To Tell If Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked

How To Tell If Your Smartphone Has Been Hacked

Because malware can run inefficiently on your phone and create hiccups both large and small, it can tip you off to its presence. Whether hackers physically sneak it onto your phone or by tricking you into installing it via a phony app, a sketchy website, or a phishing attack, hacking software can create problems for you in a couple of ways:. Is your device operating slower, are web pages and apps harder to load, or does your battery never seem to keep a charge? Like the performance issues above, malware or mining apps running in the background can burn extra computing power (and data).

Aside from sapping performance, malware and mining apps can cause your phone to run hot or even overheat. If you find apps you haven’t downloaded, or calls, texts, and emails that you didn’t send, that’s a red flag. A hacker may have hijacked your phone to send premium-rate calls or messages or to spread malware to your contacts.

In fact, if you see any configuration changes you didn’t personally make, this is another big clue that your smartphone has been hacked. Provided you have your photos, contacts, and other vital info backed up in the cloud, it’s a relatively straightforward process.

Related Posts

Leave a reply