Often when we think of hacking and mobile security breaches, we imagine information contained on a device, such as bank account info on your cell phone or company records on your laptop, being accessed. This happens fairly regularly, but the way in which hackers can spy and steal through everyday technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated. From listening in through a device’s mic or even remotely taking covert pictures with a phone’s camera, a recent spyware demo shows just how far malware can go.
Image Source: BBC News
“When Joe Greenwood, of cybersecurity firm 4Armed, saw that source code for the program had been dumped online by hackers, he couldn’t resist experimenting with it. Although he had to fiddle with the code to make it work, it only took a day before he had it up and running. The software consists of the surveillance console, which displays data retrieved from a hacked device, and malware planted on the target device itself. […] After testing the software on his own PC, Mr Greenwood soon realized the scope of its capabilities. ‘You can download files, record microphones, webcam images, websites visited, see what programs are running, intercept Skype calls,’ he told the BBC. The software even has some in-built features to track Bitcoin payments, which can be difficult to associate with individuals without additional data about when and how transactions were performed.”
To defend against such malware attacks, professionals warn that operating systems and software should be updated.