Phone Hacking – How to Know your Phone is Hacked?
Let me clear one thing in the very beginning, there’s no way to know for sure that your phone has been hacked. Yet there are some signs that show whether your phone has been hacked by someone or not. If let’s say 80% of your memory is consumed by an unknown background process, there’s a pretty good chance your phone is compromised.
A hacker who picks up control of your mobile will have the capacity to send texts, make calls, or get to the web. This will change your call history, sent text messages, or different capacities unknown to the client. Screen your call, text, and camera capacity history, and in the event that you see anything you didn’t perform yourself, then your smartphone is remotely under the control of another client.
Unusual Data Access Patterns
To see if malicious apps might be phoning home, regularly audit how your smartphone is sending and receiving data.
“Android is very helpful. If you go into the settings and look at data usage, it will show you all the applications and how much data they’re using,” said Rogers.”Look at how much data your device is using, and see if there’s a big discrepancy between how much data you’re using, and how much your applications are using.”
Any difference involving 10MB or more might be a sign of “parasitic activity,” he said, such as malware that’s turned the device into a spam relay. Likewise, if certain types of apps – such as a free dictionary – are consuming unusual amounts of data, it may indicate that they’re malicious.
Check this out: How to Check whether Your Email Account has been Hacked?
Rapid Battery Life Failure
Will malware-infected Android devices have shorter-than-usual battery life? “The Android malware that we’ve seen – Trojans, not worms or viruses – has been battery conscious,” said Sullivan. “Trojans, generally speaking, are for financial purposes, and don’t want to tip off the infected.” In other words, such apps try to remain stealthy, perhaps even staying dormant before some period of time before going to work.
Then again, any poorly coded software – which of course could include malware – might lead to excessive battery drain. Still, when it comes to lower-than-usual battery life, the culprit is less likely to be malware, and more likely to be an operating system upgrade or a buggy app that you’ve recently installed.
Also, some spy software apps can increase the use of your battery so look out for any sudden changes in your battery life – does it need charging more often. Bear in mind that over time your cell phone battery life will diminish naturally, so you’re looking for any dramatic change. Some of the cheaper spy software programs will run your battery down quickly, however, the more modern, programs are designed to make less demand on the battery and are harder to spot.
See Also: Top #5 Charging Mistakes that is killing your Android / iPhone Battery.
Apps Downloaded from Third-Party Stores
Security experts have long recommended that users never install any Android app that arrives via email, no matter who it’s supposedly from. Also stick to procuring apps from official app stores whenever possible, given the amount of malware that’s present on third-party sites, especially in the form of apps that pretend to be free, cracked versions of paid apps. “If you have a good mobile security software installed, and you only go to trusted stores – like Google, Amazon, etc – then it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to encounter [malware],” said Lookout’s Rogers.
But only using Google Play or Amazon’s app store, won’t shield you from all types of malware. “There are plenty of malicious apps that make it out there into Google Play’s storefront,” said Rik Ferguson, director of security research and communication at Trend Micro. By last month, in fact, “just over 46 percent of the apps that Trend Micro has classified as ‘malicious’ – leaving aside the high-risk ones – were sourced directly from Google Play,” he said.
What happens if you accidentally install a malicious app on your smartphone or tablet? Beyond using mobile antivirus and using only official app stores, Sullivan also recommends that Android users regularly back up their devices to secure servers. That way, if they do get a nasty malware infection, they can roll their device back to its pre-infected state.
Finally, if anything ever seems suspicious, Sullivan recommends doing what the aforementioned reader did: Stop what you’re doing and investigate. “There’s very little [malware] that works automatically [on Android], usually with just one click,” he said.
Odd Phone Behavior
Look for any changes in your cell phones behavior. Does it suddenly light up/turn on automatically when not in use; make random beeping noises, shut down by itself – even when the battery is charged – or exhibit any other random behavior? Some spy software can be quite buggy and is known to cause this.
All phones can do strange things from time to time but if this is happening on a regular basis it could be a sign that your phone is being accessed by hidden software.
See Also: Do you know that Facebook is collecting all your DATA?
Don’t get paranoid with this one is quite often this easily explained as a bad connection. If it is happening more than normal it could be another tell-tale sign. Look out for static, clicking, beeping or voices in the background. Some call listening and recording features can cause this background noise as they access your phone like a conference call.
Receiving Unusual Texts
Are you receiving strange text messages containing random numbers, symbols or characters? The remote control feature of spy software works by sending secret coded text messages to your phone and in some cases, these can be seen – if the software is not working correctly. If this happens regularly you could have a spy app on your phone.
Increased data Usage
Have you noticed an increase in your normal data usage? Some of the less reliable Spy apps use extra data to send the information collected from your phone, so look out for any unexplained increase in your monthly data usage.
With all the above you are looking for sudden changes in the behavior of your phone that cannot be explained, you could be a victim of spying.